Irish pre-service mathematics teachers' knowledge of curriculum-aligned content

Thumbnail Image
Ní Ríordáin, Máire
Ni Shuilleabhain, Aoibhinn
Prendergast, Mark
Johnson, Patrick
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Taylor & Francis Group
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This study critically examines the mathematics knowledge of pre-service post-primary mathematics teachers (N = 85) on commencing their Professional Master of Education (Level 9) initial teacher education (ITE) programme across four institutions in Ireland. Given the nature of a consecutive approach to mathematics teacher education, pre-service teachers enter their ITE programme from a variety of undergraduate degree backgrounds and it is largely accepted that their mathematical content knowledge does not change during their teacher qualification programme. This study utilises a paper-and-pencil test to assess participantsâ cognitive and conceptual proficiency with curriculum-aligned mathematical content. Between group comparisons in relation to participants' undergraduate studies and cognitive and conceptual proficiency are also examined. The data suggest that pre-service teachers demonstrate a strong proficiency with Junior Cycle curriculum-aligned content and poor proficiency with Senior Cycle content, irrespective of the curriculum strand. In addition, significant mean differences exist between participants who had undertaken undergraduate degree studies in physics and mathematics in comparison to other degree programmes. Such investigations are essential given the increased focused on developing highly qualified teachers and policy revisions on ITE programmes. This research alerts us to issues within ITE programmes that may be addressed prior to mathematics teachers' induction into the profession.
Mathematical knowledge , Post-primary , Pre-service teachers , Consecutive teacher education , Curriculum-aligned content
Ní Rí­ordáin, M., Ni Shuilleabhain, A., Prendergast, M. and Johnson, P. (2021) 'Irish pre-service mathematics teachers' knowledge of curriculum-aligned content', Irish Educational Studies. doi: 10.1080/03323315.2021.1899030
© 2021, Educational Studies Association of Ireland. Published by Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an item published by Taylor & Francis Irish Educational Studies on 5 April 2021, available online: