The Nature of Prospective Mathematics Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge: The Case of Multiplication of Fractions

Jun. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 14, Issue 3, (June, 2011), p. 213-230.

The current study aimed to explore prospective mathematics teachers’ knowledge of common conceptions and misconceptions that sixth and seventh grade students had about multiplication of fractions.
In addition, prospective teachers’ knowledge of the sources of these misconceptions and strategies they knew to overcome these misconceptions was examined.

Data were collected from 17 Turkish prospective teachers at the end of the spring semester of the 2004–2005 academic year.

A case study design was used in which data were collected through the Multiplication of Fractions Questionnaire and semi-structured interviews.

The prospective teachers suggested many difficulties that elementary grade level students may have.
The participants stated that these difficulties stemmed from students’ lack of formal knowledge and rote memorization of the algorithms.

In addition, the prospective teachers suggested many strategies that could be used to overcome these misconceptions or difficulties.
These strategies could be grouped under three headings: strategies based on teaching methods, strategies based on formal knowledge of fractions, and strategies based on psychological constructs.

Updated: Oct. 16, 2012