Does it Matter? Primary Teacher Trainees' Subject Knowledge in Mathematics


Department of Educational Studies, University of York, Heslington, YO10 5DD, UK.


The mathematical subject knowledge of primary teacher trainees in England and Wales now has to be audited in line with government requirements for initial teacher training. This article examines how this knowledge has been conceptualised and presents the results of research in two institutions into the audited subject knowledge of primary teacher trainees and its relationship with classroom teaching. The research identified weaknesses in understanding, particularly in the syntactic elements of mathematics, and a link between insecure subject knowledge and poor planning and teaching. The dilemmas and policy issues which this focus on subject knowledge presents are discussed.