Preservice Teachers’ Content Knowledge and Learning Obstacles in Shape and Space
Asian Research Journal of Mathematics,
The notion of shape and space is the building block for geometry reasoning. Accordingly, it is expected that those trained to teach would possess substantial content knowledge for teaching planar and spatial notions. This study investigated the level of content knowledge and sources of learning obstacles encountered by preservice teachers prior to their first practice teaching of shape and space. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design involving 757 second-year preservice teachers from 12 colleges of education in Ghana. Data were collected through written responses to basic shape and space tasks. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively while qualitative data were analyzed thematically into matrix index. Participants’ content knowledge were categorized into declarative, conditional and procedural knowledge types. The result shows that participants were largely operating at moderate levels of declarative, procedural and conditional content knowledge. However, participants demonstrated higher procedural knowledge than declarative and conditional knowledge. Tasks on prisms and pyramids were more difficult for preservice teachers than those on angles, triangles and quadrilaterals. The learning obstacles encountered were mostly didactical followed by epistemological with few being ontogenetic. The study recommends that tutors should employ investigative didactic strategies to promote the three content knowledge types identified and to address the epistemological and ontogenetic obstacles in preservice teachers’ learning of shape and space.
- Declarative knowledge
- conditional knowledge
- procedural knowledge
- shape and space
- learning obstacles
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