Developing Primary Teachers' Mathematics Subject Knowledge: A Practitioner Research Study that Explores the Developed Nature of Primary Teachers' Subject Knowledge in Mathematics; the Factors Which Influenced its Development and its Interrelationship with and Influence on Changes in Professional Practice, Within the Context a Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST)

Morgan, Deborah Catherine (2016). Developing Primary Teachers' Mathematics Subject Knowledge: A Practitioner Research Study that Explores the Developed Nature of Primary Teachers' Subject Knowledge in Mathematics; the Factors Which Influenced its Development and its Interrelationship with and Influence on Changes in Professional Practice, Within the Context a Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST). EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ef8e

Abstract

The study is set within the context of the Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST) at a University in England. This programme was a two year Masters' level professional development for primary teachers. The research questions explore the nature of the subject knowledge developed by the teachers; the factors which influenced its development and how the developed subject knowledge interacts with and influences classroom practice.

A practitioner research approach was adopted, influenced by the concept of phenomenography. Grounded theory was applied to analyse the data in order to develop theory. A mixed methods strategy was used, involving mainly qualitative data with some quantitative data collected through both questionnaires and group interviews.

The main findings were that:
- The development of teacher subject knowledge is dynamic and continuous and has the potential to develop within the context of practice.
- A connected structure applied to the programme design had significant impact on teacher development.
- The particular constructs used within the programme acted as vehicles for transference of developed subject knowledge into practice.

My recommendations for policy and future research are:
- The development of a national framework for primary teacher subject knowledge in mathematics, which outlines the required knowledge and recommendations for development. This would require research, agreement and evaluation.
- Further research into effective strategies for the development of teacher subject knowledge in mathematics, including the application of a big ideas framework.

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