Do advanced qualifications equate to better mathematical knowledge for primary teaching?

Stephen Day, Sandra McKechan

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This study tests the hypothesis that raising the entry requirement to programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland to Higher Mathematics, would enhance students’ subject content knowledge as required for primary teaching.A sample of 149 students entering initial teacher education was investigated using an assessment that measured competence in aspects of numeracy. Students holding Higher Mathematics scored better (Median [interquartile range]) (69.6% [58.7 – 78.3]) than those holding an Intermediate Two scoring (54.3% [41.3 – 63.0]) and a Standard Grade Credit (64.1% [50.0 – 73.9]). However, further analysis shows no statistical difference in the marks of students holding a Higher compared to those holding a Credit Standard Grade (p=0.079), but that those holding an Intermediate two performed significantly poorly compared to those holding a Higher (p<0.0001). Therefore these findings affirm concerns raised by Donaldson (2010) that current requirements relating to qualifications in mathematics do not seem to provide a sufficient guarantee of competence required for teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-99
JournalScottish Educational Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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