Challenging Transitions and Crossing Borders: Preparing Novice Mathematics Teacher Educators to Support Novice K-12 Mathematics Teachers

Jul. 01, 2016

Source: Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, Vol 18.1, 52-69, 2016. 
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this study was to compare the challenges faced by new K-12 mathematics teachers (MTs) and new mathematics teacher educators (MTEs) and use what is known about supporting new K-12 MTs to begin to develop improved support systems for new MTEs.

Data were gathered from several sources. Firstly, the authors conducted a literature review to document the experiences of novice mathematics school teachers regarding their transitioning from a teacher preparation program into a school teaching position.
Secondly, the authors developed and administered a national survey to 69 recently graduated doctoral students in mathematics education.


The findings reveal that new mathematics teacher educators in this study felt a need for further teaching experiences in their doctoral programs, specifically in the areas of teaching tools, reflection, and methods courses.
These findings show that novice mathematics teacher educators need additional and more valuable teaching opportunities throughout their preparation programs as well as mentoring experiences to help them as they transition into their new positions. These findings are consistent with literature review findings on the experiences of novice K-12 mathematics teachers.


The authors conclude that these findings about the need for teaching experiences and mentorship for novice MTEs ,much like those needs identified for novice MTs, may help improve teacher education programs while also improving mathematics teacher education programs.
They suggest using online data bases and support communities for novice MTEs similar to the practice used now for supporting novice mathematics teachers as they cross the border into teaching. Such an accessible online professional space could also be used to impact the need for mentoring of MTEs.
Another idea for mentorship provided to MTEs would be to use online options for virtual mentorships—a virtual form of apprenticeship. New MTEs could be provided support as part of their start-up funds to employ a mentor at a national/international level with whom they could connect on a regular basis.

Updated: Oct. 02, 2017