What do we know about primary teachers’ mathematical content knowledge in South Africa? An analysis of SACMEQ 2007

Author(s): Nic Spaull , Hamsa Venkat

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP13/2014

Publication date: 2014

Abstract:
Primary school mathematics teachers should, at the most basic level, have mastery of the content knowledge that they are required to teach. In this paper we test empirically whether this is the case by analyzing the South African SACMEQ 2007 mathematics teacher test data which tested 401 grade 6 mathematics teachers from a nationally representative sample of primary schools. Findings indicate that 79% of grade 6 mathematics teachers showed content knowledge levels below the grade 6/7 band, and that the few remaining teachers with higher-level content knowledge are highly inequitably distributed.

JEL Classification:
I20, I21, I28

Keywords:
mathematics teacher knowledge, SACMEQ, South Africa, mathematics

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