Improving the confidence and competence of mathematics pre-service teachers at a regional university in Australia
Whannell, R, Woolcott, G & Whannell, P 2015, 'Improving the confidence and competence of mathematics pre-service teachers at a regional university in Australia', Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.
The number of students studying science and mathematics at the secondary and tertiary levels of education in Australia has been in steady decline for many years. A number of major research projects have been funded in an attempt to address this decline by identifying strategies that will improve the experience and engagement of students studying mathematics and science in primary and the early years of secondary education. This paper reports on a multi-institutional project focused on improving the mathematical thinking of pre-service teachers and changing mathematics teaching pedagogy so that it is more closely based on mathematical thinking in real-life contexts. The paper also describes the initial development of scales to measure the self-reported ability of pre-service teachers to think mathematically and to teach mathematics using pedagogies as specified by the recently developed Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Early data analysis indicates that the scales developed will have the potential to provide robust measures of these dimensions.