Developing Subject Knowledge

Webb, Charlotte and Smith, Cathy (2019). Developing Subject Knowledge. In: Lee, Clare and Ward-Penny, Robert eds. A Practical Guide to Teaching Mathematics in the Secondary School (2nd edition). Routledge Teaching Guides. Routledge, pp. 104–115.



Developing and extending teachers' own subject knowledge is an essential part of preparing to teach secondary mathematics. Extending teachers' subject knowledge will be crucial in ensuring teachers continue to appreciate mathematics and its role in society as well as helping teacher to progress within teachers' chosen profession. Teachers can extend teachers' subject knowledge in three directions: deeper, higher, and wider. The chapter outlines ways of extending mathematical knowledge and describes how each has the potential to benefit teachers' curriculum and pedagogic content knowledge. Working in these ways will allow teachers to say that teachers have secure subject knowledge for teaching mathematics. Exploring different contexts and applications of a topic is a way of deepening teachers' subject knowledge, revealing new relationships in the mathematics. Historical applications of mathematics help to show that people from different backgrounds and cultures have used mathematics to make a difference to their societies.

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