Characterizing Preservice Teachers’ Mathematical Understanding of Algebraic Relationships

Research output: Journal ArticleArticlepeer-review


Qualitative research methods were employed to investigate characterization of preservice teachers’ mathematical understanding. Responses on test items involving algebraic relationships were analyzed using with-in case analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1994) and Pirie and Kieren’s (1994) model of growth of mathematical understanding. Five elementary and special education preservice teachers were the focus of this study. Analysis showed that preservice teachers demonstrated different levels of mathematical understanding. The nature of the mathematical tasks they completed in class provided contexts for their developing understanding. Findings support the need to engage preservice teachers in mathematical sense-making and reasoning in order to experience what it means to teach and learn for understanding.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • mathematical understanding
  • teaching for understanding
  • preservice teachers
  • middle school
  • algebra
  • relations and functions


  • Education
  • Mathematics

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