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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


A Comparison of Math Understanding of Preservice Teachers from Alberta and Western Australia: Implications for Preservice and Professional Teacher Math Education

E. Nola Aitken.

The math pre-requisite for students entering education faculties at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and Edith Cowan, Western Australia is grade 10 or less. This is concerning since research has shown that many elementary teachers have only a superficial understanding of math, and often impart poor problem-solving skills and dispositions on to their students. A comparative quasi-experimental study was undertaken to determine the math understanding of students from these two institutions for program evaluation purposes. Findings indicate that significant differences in math understanding exist between the two universities. Actual student samples of problem-solving questions and implications of these findings for pre-service teacher and math education are presented.


E. Nola Aitken  (Canada)
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education
The University of Lethbridge

Nola Aitken is currently Associate Professor of Education and Director for Assessment Research in Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Previously Nola was a Test Development Specialist for the Alberta Department of Education and prior to that, a classroom teacher. Her academic interests are mathematics education, teacher education, and evaluation of student learning.

  • Mathematics Education
  • Preservice Teacher Education
  • Teacher Professional Development

(30 min Conference Paper, English)