What skills and knowledge do university mathematics teacher education programs give future teachers in Costa Rica?

Helen Alfaro 1 * , Jorma Joutsenlahti 1
More Detail
1 Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp. 145-162. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/9553
OPEN ACCESS   1470 Views   1160 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

High-quality teaching is crucial for improving mathematics education. Teaching mathematics requires specific knowledge, including knowledge of both content and pedagogy. In this study, we analyzed the knowledge for teaching mathematics among 80 future teachers from four mathematics teacher education programs in Costa Rica. Using the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) questionnaire, we studied the opportunities to learn the programs provide and the participants’ performance in tests of their mathematical content and pedagogical knowledge. The results showed that all the teaching programs involved gave more emphasis to the topics covered in tertiary level mathematics than to aspects of general and mathematics pedagogy. Moreover, the results highlighted the variation among universities in the participants’ performance in the tests and demonstrated that the number and content of the courses taken was not correlated with the participants’ performance. These findings offer insights to the Costa Rican government and policymakers into the actual structure, variability, and characteristics of teacher education programs, which could serve as a tool for making decisions on measures to improve the quality of teaching.

CITATION

Alfaro, H., & Joutsenlahti, J. (2020). What skills and knowledge do university mathematics teacher education programs give future teachers in Costa Rica?. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8(3), 145-162. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/9553

REFERENCES

  • Alfaro, A. L., Alpízar, M., Morales, Y., Ramírez, M., and Salas, O. (2013). La formación inicial y continua de docentes de matemáticas en Costa Rica. Cuadernos de Investigación y formación en Educación Matemática, 131-179.
  • Ball, D. L., Thames, M. H., and Phelps, G. (2008). Content knowledge for teaching: What makes it special? Journal of Teacher Education, 59(5), 389-407. DOI: 10.1177/0022487108324554
  • Blömeke, S. (2012). Content, professional preparation, and teaching methods: How diverse is teacher education across countries? Comparative Education Review, 56(4), 684-714. DOI: 10.1086/667413
  • Blömeke, S., and Kaiser, G. (2014) Theoretical framework, study design and main results of TEDS-M. In: Blömeke, S., Hsieh, F. J., Kaiser, G., and Schmidt W. (Eds.) International perspectives on teacher knowledge, beliefs and opportunities to learn. Advances in Mathematics Education (pp. 19-47). Dordrecht: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6437-8_2
  • Brese, F., and Tatoo, M. T. (Eds.). (2012). User guide for the TEDS-M International Database. Supplement 4: TEDS-M Released Mathematics and Mathematics Pedagogy Knowledge Assessment Items. Amsterdam, Netherlands: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
  • Hill, H. C., Rowan, B., and Ball, D. L. (2005). Effects of teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 42(2), 371–406. DOI: 10.3102/00028312042002371
  • Hoover, M., Mosvold, R., Ball, D. L., and Lai, Y. (2016). Making progress on mathematical knowledge for teaching. The Mathematics Enthusiast, 13(1), 3-34.
  • Kaarstein, H. (2014). A comparison of three frameworks for measuring knowledge for teaching mathematics. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 19 (1), 23–52.
  • Kilpatrick, J., Blume, G., Heid, K., Wilson, J., Wilson, P., and Zbiek, R. (2015). Mathematical understanding for secondary teaching: A framework. In: Heid, K., Wilson, P., and Blume, G. Mathematical understanding for secondary teaching: A framework and classroom-based situations (pp. 9-30). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Koponen, M., Asikainen, M. A., Viholainen, A., and Hirvonen, P. E. (2016). Teachers and their educators: Views on contents and their development needs in mathematics teacher education. The Mathematics Enthusiast, 13(1), 149-170.
  • MEP, 2012. Programas de Estudio de Matemáticas. I, II, y III Ciclos de la Educación General Básica y Ciclo Diversificado. San José, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Educación Pública.
  • Monk, D. H. (1994). Subject area preparation of secondary mathematics and science teachers and student achievement. Economics of Education Review, 13(2), 125-145.
  • OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume I): What Students Know and Can Do, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/5f07c754-en.
  • O'Meara, N. (2011). Improving mathematics teaching at second level through the design of a model of teacher knowledge and an intervention aimed at developing teachers’ knowledge. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Limerick]. ULIR.
  • PEN, 2019. Resumen séptimo informe estado de la educación. San José, Costa Rica: Programa Estado de la Nación.
  • Qian, H., and Youngs, P. (2016). The effect of teacher education programs on future elementary mathematics teachers’ knowledge: A five-country analysis using TEDS-M data. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 19(4), 371-396. DOI:10.1007/s10857-014-9297-0
  • Román, I., and Lentini, V. (2018). “Costa Rica: El estado de políticas públicas docentes. Diálogo Interamericano y Unidos por la educación.”https://www.thedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/El-estado-de-politicas-publicas-abril-15.pdf,(accessed February 2020)
  • Rowland, T., Turner, F., Thwaites, A., and Huckstep, P. (2009) Developing primary mathematics teaching: Reflecting on practice with the Knowledge Quartet. London, England: Sage.
  • Schmidt, W. H., Cogan, L., and Houang, R. (2011a). The role of opportunity to learn in teacher preparation: An international context. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(2), 138–153. DOI:10.1177/0022487110391987
  • Schmidt, W. H., Houang, R., and Cogan, L. S. (2011b). Preparing future math teachers. Science, 332(603), 1266-1267.
  • Senk, S. L., Peck, R., Bankov, K., and Tatto, M. T. (2008). Conceptualizing and measuring mathematical knowledge for teaching: Issues from TEDS-M, an IEA cross-national study. In: Mexico: 11th International Congress of Mathematics Education.
  • Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14. DOI: 10.2307/1175860
  • Tatto, M. T. (2016). Mathematics knowledge for teaching at the secondary levels: Methods and evidence from the TEDS-M Study. Cuadernos de Investigación y Formación en Educación Matemática, 101-126.
  • Tatto, M. T., Schwille, J., Senk, S., Ingvarson, L., Peck, R., and Rowley, G. (2008). Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M): Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics. Conceptual framework. East Lansing, MI: Teacher Education and Development International Study Center, College of Education, Michigan State University.
  • Tatto, M. T., Peck, R., Schwille, J., Bankov, K., Senk, S. L., Rodriguez, M., Ingvarson, L., Reckase, M., and Rowley, G. (2012). Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics in 17 countries: Findings from the IEA Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M). International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).