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The Mathematical Education of Teachers
A co-publication of the AMS and CBMS.

CBMS Issues in Mathematics Education
2001; 145 pp; softcover
Volume: 11
ISBN-10: 0-8218-2899-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-2899-1
List Price: US$29
Member Price: US$23.20
All Individuals: US$23.20
Order Code: CBMATH/11
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Now is a time of great interest in mathematics education. Student performance, curriculum, and teacher education are the subjects of much scrutiny and debate. Studies on the mathematical knowledge of prospective and practicing U. S. teachers suggest ways to improve their mathematical educations.

It is often assumed that because the topics covered in K-12 mathematics are so basic, they should be easy to teach. However, research in mathematics education has shown that to teach well, substantial mathematical understanding is necessary--even to teach whole-number arithmetic. Prospective teachers need a solid understanding of mathematics so that they can teach it as a coherent, reasoned activity and communicate its elegance and power.

This volume gathers and reports current thinking on curriculum and policy issues affecting the mathematical education of teachers. It considers two general themes: (1) the intellectual substance in school mathematics; and (2) the special nature of the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching. The underlying study was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The mathematical knowledge needed for teaching is quite different from that required by students pursuing other mathematics-related professions. Material here is geared toward stimulating efforts on individual campuses to improve programs for prospective teachers. This report contains general recommendations for all grades and extensive discussions of the specific mathematical knowledge required for teaching elementary, middle, and high-school grades, respectively.

It is also designed to marshal efforts in the mathematical sciences community to back important national initiatives to improve mathematics education and to expand professional development opportunities. The book will be an important resource for mathematics faculty and other parties involved in the mathematical education of teachers.

This series is published in cooperation with the Mathematical Association of America.


Graduate students, research mathematicians, mathematics faculty, and those interested in the mathematical education of teachers.


"This publication is clearly an important document for college faculty members who are responsible for the mathematics preparation of teachers. It makes a strong attempt to communicate the legitimacy of pedagogical content knowledge."


"The writers of this material clearly are knowledgeable about the current problems with preparing teachers to have special, pedagogical understanding of mathematics. They discuss the need for teachers to know the specific ideas that cause the most difficulty for students ... highly recommend the book."

-- Teaching Children Mathematics

Table of Contents

Part 1
  • Changing expectations, new realizations
  • General recommendations
  • Recommendations for elementary teacher preparation
  • Recommendations for middle grades teacher preparation
  • Recommendations for high school teacher preparation
  • Recommendations for technology in teacher preparation
  • Relevant reports
Part 2
  • The preparation of elementary teachers
  • The preparation of middle grades teachers
  • The preparation of high school teachers
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