Knowledge of future primary teachers for teaching mathematics: An international comparative study

Sharon L. Senk, Maria Teresa Tatto, Mark Reckase, Glenn Rowley, Ray Peck, Kiril Bankov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This article reports the results of the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDSM) that are related to prospective primary teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics. TEDS-M was conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement with additional support from the US. National Science Foundation and the participating countries. In 2008 more than 15,000 future primary teachers, enrolled in about 450 institutions that prepare future primary teachers, were surveyed. Two domains of knowledge for teaching mathematics were assessed using items that had been developed and validated in a cross-national field trial. Large differences in the structure of teacher preparation programs are reported. Differences in mathematical content knowledge (MCK) and mathematical pedagogical content knowledge (MPCK) were also observed both within and between programs and countries. Anchor points on the MCK and MPCK scales are used to describe qualitative characteristics of knowledge for teaching mathematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-324
Number of pages18
JournalZDM - Mathematics Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative education
  • Content knowledge
  • International
  • Mathematics
  • Pedagogical content knowledge
  • Primary teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Education


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