The tertiary training of pre-service teachers is pivotal in their professional preparation and formation as qualified educators. Multiple authors posit that teachers require a development of pedagogical content knowledge, or knowing a variety of ways to present mathematical content and to assist students to deepen their understanding (Chick, 2012; Shulman, 1987). Emerick, Hirsch and Berry (2003) argue that high quality teachers must possess appropriate mathematical content knowledge, and must also possess considerable background in communicating effectively to students. There are two aims of this educational research. The first is to investigate the self-perceptions of pre-service middle school teachers enrolled in a mathematics education unit as they engage with and consolidate their mathematics content. The second aim is to explore how these pre-service teachers understand and perceive their ‘readiness’ to undertake such a task, based on their recent tertiary training. Data were collected from participants through the exercise of pre-unit (Stage 1) and post-unit (Stage 2) surveys. This paper will present participant self-reflections from both stages of data collection. Students who completed the pre-unit surveys indicated a need to refresh and consolidate mathematical content knowledge. Post-unit surveys indicated overwhelmingly that the unit helped prepare students to become more confident, competent and knowledgeable users of mathematical content.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gregory_hine/17/