Pre-service teachers’ numeracy capabilities and confidence

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Students “become numerate as they develop the knowledge and skills to use mathematics confidently across other learning areas at school and in their lives more broadly” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], n.d.). In Australia, numeracy has become a focus of teacher preparation programs, due to the requirements of the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, n.d.) and the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (2014). Teachers of all disciplines are expected to incorporate numeracy into their teaching and to deal with the numeracy demands of their profession (e.g., analysis and interpretation of assessment data). This presentation will focus on research conducted in a compulsory course, Numeracy for Learners and Teachers (NLT), introduced in 2015 in a two-year graduate teacher education program at a prestigious Australian university. Framed by the 21st Century Numeracy Model (Goos, Geiger, & Dole, 2014), our research focused on the NLT students’ capabilities, confidence, beliefs, and understandings of numeracy. Here, we focus on the 2015 and 2016 students’ numeracy capabilities and levels of confidence in their solutions to five numeracy questions. Analysis included descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations (to compare accuracy and confidence). The participants completed the questions involving basic calculations, fractions, length conversions, and data analysis with high rates of accuracy and confidence. In contrast, the question involving combinatorics was completed with much lower accuracy and confidence. For each question, the level of confidence in the answer provided was generally lower than the accuracy level. Surprisingly, the levels of accuracy of the 2015 (predominantly secondary) and 2016 (predominantly primary) teacher education student cohorts were similar. However, the 2015 cohort was generally more confident in their answers than the 2016 cohort. In our presentation, we will discuss the implications of these findings for numeracy for teachers and students in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAnnual Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 2017 - National Institute of Education, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 17 Jul 201722 Aug 2017
Conference number: 41st


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 2017
Abbreviated titlePME 2017
Internet address

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