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

Helen Alfaro 1 * , Jorma Joutsenlahti 1
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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
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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.


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


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