Dumma C. Mapolelo, Mojeed K. Akinsola


Teachers’ mathematics knowledge has been known to have a significant impact on instructional practices. This paper discusses research on teachers’ mathematics knowledge. The paper has been summarised in five main areas: (a) the role of subject matter knowledge in teaching and learning, (b) teachers’ beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning, (c) beliefs and beliefs-in-practice: inconsistencies, (d) teacher education and its impact on instructional practices, and (e) future research on teachers’ mathematics knowledge. The review indicated that teachers are critical factors in the learning of mathematics and the extents of their content and pedagogical knowledge do determine students’ achievement. Also, the paper acceded to the view that, a teacher’s memories from the school years is a central influencing factor that affects its mathematics related beliefs, hence there is a need to enhance pre-service teachers’ positive attitude towards mathematics during training. The paper suggested further areas of research should look at: different theoretically-and empirically distinction in content knowledge for teaching and investigate their relationship, separately and in combination, to student achievement; whether mathematics teachers’ knowledge affects their lesson planning strategies and whether the provision of ‘mathematical knowledge for teaching’ by teacher training institutions improve pre-service teachers’ beliefs about mathematics and mathematics teaching. The paper concluded that, mathematics teacher education programme should provide pre-service teachers with awareness of conception of mathematics which may influence their teaching.


Mathematics teacher’s knowledge; instructional practices; teacher’s belief; teacher education

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