Secondary Teachers’ Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching Quadratic Equations: A Case of Selected Secondary Schools in Katete District
Mbewe, Titus L.
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The purpose of the study was to explore teachers‟ mathematical knowledge for teaching quadratic equations. The study had three specific objectives: (1) to determine teachers‟ subject matter knowledge for teaching quadratic equations, (2) To assess strategies used by teachers in teaching quadratic equations and (3) To examine how teachers address pupils‟ errors and misconceptions related to quadratic equations. This was a qualitative study involving three participants and data was collected in form of semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and questionnaires. Data was analysed using analytical coding in which the researcher identified the conceptual categories into which the phenomena observed were grouped. The study revealed that secondary school teachers possess adequate subject matter knowledge for teaching quadratic equations which was limited to procedural understanding. Subject matter was more influential in the delivery of the lesson than didactic knowledge and knowledge of learner conceptions. The teachers mathematical knowledge for teaching ability to generate different solutions, to address pupils‟ difficulties and misconceptions and to choose appropriate examples to teach quadratic equations were based on the depth of the subject matter which played a critical role in their reasoning and decision making in specific contexts. The participants provided a wide range of instances of pupils‟ errors in learning how to solve quadratic equations but they were unable to detect the root cause of these errors the study recommended that mathematics teachers need to be encouraged to present lessons in such a way that procedural understanding is supplemented by conceptual understanding of concepts.
The University of Zambia Press