Measuring problem-based learning's impact on pre-service teachers' mathematics pedagogical content knowledge

Martin, David A. and Grimbeek, Peter and Jamieson-Proctor, Romina (2013) Measuring problem-based learning's impact on pre-service teachers' mathematics pedagogical content knowledge. In: 2nd International Higher Education Teaching And Learning Conference (IEAA 2013): Engaging Innovative Pedagogical Practice and Research in Higher Education, 9-10 Dec 2013, Sarawak, Malaysia.

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Current educational reforms and initiatives are addressing numeracy outcomes for school-age students as a response to concerns regarding their mathematical achievements. In Australia, the Ministerial Council on Education stated, numeracy remains one of the cornerstones of schooling for young Australians (2008). Ultimately, the responsibility for attending to these educational priorities is placed with teachers. Existing literature suggests that student achievement is directly impacted by 'effective teaching' and that effective teaching begins with effective teacher preparation.

To address these issues, this pilot study investigated the impact of problem-based (PBL) learning, in a tertiary mathematics education course, on pre-service teachers' mathematics pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and forms the basis for a larger, subsequent study.

To measure pre-service teachers' mathematics PCK, a Mathematics Pedagogical Content Knowledge Instrument was developed. The instrument was delivered pre-semester and post-semester to a control group (n=15) who received traditional, 'lecture-based' instruction, and a treatment group (n=15) who were instructed using the problem-based learning approach. The data were analysed using a paired samples t-test to compare the pre-semester and post-semester means from both cohorts. The findings indicate the treatment group made larger gains in their PCK when compared to the gains in PCK development of the control group. In teaching terms, the findings suggest an intervention such as problem-based learning may enhance the development of pre-service teachers' PCK when compared to using a traditional teaching approach.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2013 02:42
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 05:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: problem-based learning; pedagogical content knowledge; pre-service teachers; mathematics education
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy

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