Assessment of preservice mathematics teachers’ knowledge for teaching statistics

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2013
Mercimek, Oktay
The purpose of this study is to assess preservice teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching statistics (MKT-S). For this purpose, MKT-S instrument consisting of two dimensions, ‘content knowledge’ (CK) and ‘pedagogical content knowledge’ (PCK) was developed, and applied to 659 preservice middle school mathematics teachers (PTs). Confirmatory factor analysis showed that CK and PCK are two different dimensions of mathematical knowledge of teaching statistics. It was found that CK factor scores were highly correlated with PCK factor scores. The reliability levels were 0.65 for CK factor scores and 0.76 for PCK factor scores. Analysis of CK items revealed that only some PTs were able to (a) evaluate center of data has extreme cases; and (b) construct a histogram from data that has decimal numbers. Analysis of PCK items also revealed that nearly less than a quarter of PTs were able to (a) see the connections between different types of graphics; (b) recognize an alternative correct approach for handling a statistics problem; (c) offer correct examples for both arithmetical mean and median; (d) identify both logical and illogical parts of a student’s answer; (e) diagnose why a students’ error occurred; and (f) provide feedback that targeted to solve students’ misunderstanding. MKT-S instrument developed in this study has several implications for teacher education. MKT-S instrument can be used to evaluate efficiency of PTs’ mathematical knowledge for teaching statistics. Instrument can be adapted for in-service teachers. Deficiencies revealed in this study can be used develop effective theoretical statistics courses and teaching statistics courses.

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Citation Formats
O. Mercimek, “Assessment of preservice mathematics teachers’ knowledge for teaching statistics,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.