Exploring experiences for assisting primary pre-service teachers to extend their knowledge of student strategies and reasoning

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Exploring how students learn mathematics and what types of tasks promote mathematical reasoning may assist pre-service teachers to develop their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching. This study reports on an experience of a cohort of Australian primary (elementary) pre-service teachers, destined to become specialist mathematics teachers associated with the topics of measurement and geometry. The first author presented a lesson with Year 5/6 students related to geometric reasoning and calculating the size of angles. The lesson was launched with no instructions and students were expected to attempt a problem without using a protractor or help from the teacher. The pre-service teachers, classroom teacher and second author were non-participant observers. Findings suggest course experiences provided an opportunity to extend pre-service teachers' knowledge of how students learn and their knowledge of lesson structure and PCK whilst also considering how students might learn to reason and solve a challenging mathematical task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mathematical Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Angles
  • Challenging tasks
  • Content knowledge
  • Elementary
  • Geometry
  • Knowledge for teaching
  • Mathematics
  • Pre-service teachers
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Student strategies
  • Teacher education

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