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Elementary school mathematics teachers’ perception of their professional needs

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This study explored Israeli elementary school mathematics teachers’ perceptions of their professional needs, with the purpose of developing in-service training courses which cater to these needs. Eighty-four teachers responded to the questionnaire and were interviewed. The results indicate that the respondents’ main needs are associated with strengthening their didactical knowledge capability of dealing with emotional aspects that relate to pupils’ learning of mathematics. Although most of the respondents lack formal mathematics education, they attribute less importance to their need to enhance knowledge in the field. In light of Israeli pupils’ relatively low attainments in mathematics, the authors believe that the education system should require teachers to expand their mathematics knowledge and that only teachers with appropriate knowledge will be permitted to teach the discipline.
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Keywords: elementary school; mathematics teachers; teachers’ mathematical knowledge; teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK); teachers’ professional needs

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Mathematics Education, Oranim-Academic College of Education, 17a Shderot Hahascala str., Tel Aviv, 6789036, Israel 2: Mathematics Education, Kibbutzim College of Education, 13 Dakar St., Beit Yanay, 40293, Israel

Publication date: May 26, 2016

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