Thai preservice middle school mathematics teachers' subject matter knowledge and knowledge of students' conceptions of division of rational numbers with respect to their classroom practices Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/td96k527s

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  • The study investigated the impact of Thai preservice middle school mathematics teachers' knowledge of subject matter and of students' conceptions of division of rational numbers with respect to their classroom practices in a teaching environment controlled by a required national curriculum. Four preservice teachers were selected with different knowledge of subject matter and of students' conceptions of division of rational numbers: high knowledge of subject matter and high knowledge of students' conceptions, high knowledge of subject matter and low knowledge of students' conceptions, low knowledge of subject matter and high knowledge of students' conceptions, and low knowledge of subject matter and low knowledge of students' conceptions. Each preservice teacher was observed three weeks, each class day during the teaching of units on division of decimals, representing fractions as decimals, and division of fractions. Formal interviews were conducted with each of the four preservice teachers prior to and after teaching each unit. Informal interviews were conducted prior to and after teaching each lesson. Materials used in the normal teaching of the class were collected. Interviews with the preservice teachers' mentors were conducted before and after each unit. The mentors were interviewed daily before or after the instruction. Interviews with supervisors were conducted each time they supervised the preservice teachers. Results showed that all preservice teachers planned and taught division of rational numbers procedurally following an algorithmically-based national curriculum. The preservice teachers with higher subject matter knowledge used multiple examples. They could make up examples when the students asked questions. In contrast, the lower subject matter knowledge preservice teachers rarely created new examples while they were teaching. The high knowledge of students' conceptions preservice teachers used their knowledge of students' conceptions throughout the lessons more often than the low knowledge of students' conceptions preservice teachers. After teaching the lessons, they all gained knowledge of subject matter and of students' conceptions of division of rational numbers. The depth of knowledge of subject matter and of students' conceptions of division of rational numbers is as essential for preservice middle school mathematics teachers' teaching in a nonvoluntary curriculum as it is in a voluntary curriculum.
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