Subject Area Knowledge of Private School Secondary Mathematics Teachers: Impact of Prior Coursework on Instructional Practice

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Cox, Wesley, Curriculum and Instruction - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Choi, Kyong Mi, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

Hiring secondary mathematics teachers has become a difficult task for schools across the country. Both public and private schools alike face the task of hiring a knowledgeable and qualified teacher. One small independent, private school in the Southeastern United States has confronted the issue of hiring and retaining mathematics teachers who possess the knowledge to positively impact their students’ development and acquisition of algebraic reasoning skills for several years. The problem they face is understanding which courses listed on applicants’ transcripts should they focus on when determining which teacher qualifies for their open teaching positions. This case study takes a look into the courses a secondary mathematics teacher at a private independent school reflects upon from their undergraduate career in order to teach their current classes. With a better understanding of their classes comes a better understanding of what coursework should be emphasized to ensure that a teacher has the background and expertise the school is looking. The purpose of this study is to better understand what courses mathematics teachers utilize while planning and teaching the lessons they covered in their high school mathematics classrooms. The findings from this study will help independent schools hire and retain qualified mathematics teachers who have the content knowledge needed to influence student learning.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
Calculus, Teacher training, Mathematical knowledge for teaching, Specialized content knowledge
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