Effectiveness of the mathematics teacher education curriculum at the University of Zambia in preparing secondary school teachers of mathematics
This study sought to investigate whether the mathematics teacher education curriculum at the University of Zambia (UNZA) adequately prepared student teachers in mathematical content knowledge and mathematical pedagogical content knowledge for teaching classroom mathematics in Zambian secondary schools. The mixed methods design and in particular the concurrent triangulation research design was used. Questionnaires were employed to collect data from UNZA products of mathematics education and fourth year (final year) student teachers who were on the programme. Lecturers of mathematics content and mathematics teaching methods and the Standards Officers for Mathematics including some UNZA products of mathematics education were also interviewed. Mathematics lessons were also observed. Description and thematic analysis were used to analyse qualitative data while quantitative data was analysed through the use of statistical package for social sciences where independent samples t-tests were employed. The main findings of the study indicated that the UNZA mathematics teacher education curriculum did not adequately prepare student teachers to teach mathematics. Teachers of mathematics lacked the relevant mathematical knowledge and the mathematical pedagogical knowledge upon graduation. Results also suggested that this could have been one of the factors that had contributed to inappropriate teaching and eventually poor mathematics learner performance in secondary schools. Hence, it was recommended that the UNZA mathematics teacher education curriculum should be reviewed after conducting a job analysis of the teachers of mathematics. It was also recommended that the Ministry of General Education should conduct in-service training of teachers of mathematics using the already existing continuous professional development structures within the ministry.
- Education