The views of pre-service and novice teachers on mathematics teaching in South Africa related to their educational experience

K Chuene, F Lubben, G Newson

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This paper reports some results of a study exploring pre-service and novice teachers' views on mathematics teaching and how these views may be influenced by school experience. The study was carried out in the Northern Province, South Africa, and involved 34 teachers from the disadvantaged group, formerly the African education sector. They were equally divided between pre-service and novice teachers. Findings from qualitative data analysis of individual semi-structured interviews Show the following: (a) in rank order reasons for choosing a mathematics teaching career are extrinsic, altruistic, intrinsic and job-related; (b) there is a relationship between reasons for choosing a career in mathematics teaching and what pre-service teachers expected to learn from teacher education programmes; and (c) teacher education is perceived to be failing in preparing candidates for school realities. The study has implications for the selection of candidates for mathematics teacher education programmes and for the planning of the teacher education curriculum. It also raises issues on the role played by teacher educators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • mathematics teacher education
  • South Africa
  • pre-service teachers
  • teacher career choice
  • novice mathematics teachers

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