Student teachers’ common content knowledge for solving routine fraction tasks
Keywords:common content knowledge, elementary school, fractions, student teacher, teacher education
This study focuses on the knowledge base that Swedish elementary student teachers demonstrate in their solutions for six routine fraction tasks. The paper investigates the student teachers’ common content knowledge of fractions and discusses the implications of the findings. Fraction knowledge that student teachers bring to teacher education has been rarely investigated in the Swedish context. Thus, this study broadens the international view in the field and gives an opportunity to see some worldwide similarities as well as national challenges in student teachers’ fraction knowledge. The findings in this study reveal uncertainty and wide differences between the student teachers when solving fraction tasks that they were already familiar with; two of the 59 participants solved correctly all tasks, whereas some of them gave only one or not any correct answer. Moreover, the data indicate general limitations in the participants’ basic knowledge in mathematics. For example, many of them make errors in using mathematical symbol writing and different representation forms, and they do not recognize unreasonable answers and incorrect statements. Some participants also seemed to guess at an algorithm to use when they did not remember or understand the correct solution method.
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