“Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching”: Adapting U.S. Measures for use in Ireland

Aug. 15, 2008

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Vol. 11, Number 3, June, 2008, pp. 165-251

This article describes a study in which measures of mathematical knowledge for teaching developed in the United States were adapted to measure mathematical knowledge for teaching in Ireland. When adapting the measures it was not assumed that the mathematical knowledge used by Irish and U.S. teachers is the same. Instead psychometric and interview-based methods were used to determine a correspondence between the constructs being measured, and ensure the integrity of item performance in the Irish context.

The study found overlap between the knowledge that is used to teach in both Ireland and the United States, and that the items tapped into this knowledge. However, specific findings confirm the usefulness of conducting extensive checks on the validity of items used in cross-national contexts. The process of adaptation is described to provide guidance for others interested in using the items to measure mathematical knowledge for teaching outside the United States. The process also enabled the authors to raise questions about the assumptions that lie behind the practice-based construct of mathematical knowledge for teaching.

Updated: Nov. 17, 2008