# The Mathematical Education of Primary Teachers

## Abstract

This chapter reports the results of a cross-national study designed to examine the mathematics knowledge and the mathematical pedagogical content knowledge attained by prospective primary teachers at the end of their formal preparation and before they begin to teach. The study used survey methods to collect data from nationally representative samples of pre-service university-based teacher education programs and their future teachers in Botswana, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United States. Descriptive and multivariate analyses show that future teachers’ individual characteristics, such as levels of achievement in previous schooling, programs’ selection policies, and opportunities to learn the content and the pedagogy of the mathematics school curriculum, were associated with higher levels of knowledge and dispositions toward teaching and learning mathematics. Results support teacher education policies directed at (a) raising the level of subject knowledge required for program selection and graduation and (b) increasing the level of complexity and cognitive demand of the opportunities to learn mathematics and mathematics pedagogy offered to future primary mathematics teachers.

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