Preschool teacher's pedagogical content knowledge of pre-mathematics: the case of selected schools in Lusaka province of Zambia

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Zulu, Nthani, Hilda
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University of Zambia
Childhood low levels of learning achievement in numeracy at middle primary school have proved to perpetuate into adult life. In order to raise children with mathematical skills, teachers should be appropriately qualified for the task. An exploratory study method was used to collect qualitative data on the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of three teachers through lesson observations and interviews. The three elements of PCK explored were knowledge of the subject matter, teaching strategies and teachers’ conduct. Data was analysed using manual thematic and constant comparative analysis. Relating to activities preschool teachers engaged in, three themes emerged namely: developing number awareness, writing skills and having fun. With regard to factors influencing learning of mathematics, themes that emerged included teaching approach, teaching style and using resources. Analysis of the results suggested that the teachers had limited/inadequate subject matter knowledge on some topics and some aspects of teaching strategies. The study also revealed that there are various factors that are important in teaching of pre-mathematics to children and that it all depends on the teachers’ perspective and provision of resources. In conclusion, the study indicated that children needed to relate activities to real life situation in order to bring out the hidden educational value and that the topics should be tailored to the age of the children. The study recommends that teachers be exposed to workshops, specialization trainings on teaching strategies and knowledge of teachers’ conduct on the topic taught at pre-school. Key words: Pedagogical Content Knowledge, knowledge of the subject matter, knowledge of teaching strategy, knowledge of teachers’ conduct, mathematical skills, numeracy
Mathematics-study and teaching