International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering-IJASRE

Pre-Service Primary School Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching Fractions through Problem Solving

Article Category: Applied Mathematics

DOI: 10.31695/IJASRE.2019.33085

Pages: 8-17

Author: Samuel Baah-Duodu,Francis Cornelius Ennin,Seth Borbye,Solomon Amoaddai

Abstract: This study measured pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) fractions in Ghanaian basic schools. A Fractional Knowledge Test (FKT) and five- point Likert scale questionnaires were administered to 200 pre-service teachers from two colleges of education (located at Mampong in the Ashanti Region of Ghana) who were conveniently and purposively selected in order to assess their mathematical knowledge on teaching fractions in basic schools. A problem solving ability scale was adapted to assess pre-service teachers’ problem solving skills and abilities on fractions through the use of area, set and linear models of fractions. Results of problem solving abilities showed that pre-service teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge on fractions were low. The study revealed that 39.8% pre-service teachers possess the lowest level (understanding the problem), 35.3% possess intermediate level (solving the problem) and 24.9% possess highest level of problem solving. Pre-service teachers lacked the requisite knowledge, skills and expertise for teaching mathematics through problem solving. Pre-service teachers displayed better fractional knowledge on procedure than on conception. The study revealed that pre-service teachers’ perception on problems involving fractions positively correlated to their mathematical knowledge for teaching fractions. There was no significant difference by gender, age and mathematical background nor their combinations on pre-service teachers’ perception on fractions and their mathematical knowledge for teaching [MKT] fractions. Findings indicated that pre-service teachers need adequate opportunities to practice what they learn in their pedagogy courses in colleges of education. Therefore mathematics pedagogy courses Ghanaian Colleges of Education should be made more practical and pre-service teachers in colleges of education should be given ample opportunity to practice what they are going to teach in basic schools. Pre-service teachers need to develop much and deeper understandings of the mathematics content than they had as students, and their teachers, mathematics teacher educators, must have the knowledge necessary to help with this development.

Keyword: Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, Pre-service Teachers, Fractional Knowledge Test, Problem solving Ability, Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (International) Licence. (CC BY-NC 4.0)
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