PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ UNDERSTANDING OF SELECTED CONCEPTS OF FRACTIONS

Korsi Kenneth Agbozo, Jonathan A. Fletcher

Abstract


The case study investigated prospective teachers’ understanding of concepts of fractions following the IOE’s chief examiners’ reports that have raised concerns about the persistent abysmal performance of the pre-service teachers on items on fractions in mathematics examinations in the colleges of education in Ghana. The case study was conducted in one college of education in the Central Region of Ghana with a sample of 26 pre-service teachers using a mixed method of sequential explanatory design approach. The participants took an achievement test followed by interview with the view to gaining insights into their understanding of specific concepts of fractions. The results indicated that although almost all of the prospective teachers demonstrated high levels of computational competence, none of them was able to demonstrate an understanding of why the algorithm for the division of a fraction by a fraction works. With regard to their Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of fractions, almost half of the participants could not generate any approach of teaching division of fractions to demonstrate an effective PCK. It was recommended that a new approach of teaching fractions in which connections are made between topics related to fractions be adopted by mathematics tutors in the colleges of education to guide prospective teachers to acquire a deeper conceptual understanding of fractions and their applications.

 

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educational autobiography, pre-service early years practitioners, critical reflection, personal growth, professional development

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