Teachers' self-perceptions of mathematical knowledge for teaching at the transition between primary and post-primary school

Niamh O'Meara, Mark Prendergast, Ian Cantley, Lorraine Harbison, Clare O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The school system in both the Republic of Ireland [ROI] and Northern Ireland [NI] is configured to accommodate children into discrete educational bands at different stages on their learning journey. Research has consistently shown that the transition from primary to postprimary, which typically occurs between the ages of 11 and 13, is the most challenging transition with the negative effects more pronounced for mathematics than any other subject. This cross-border study investigates this transition in mathematics education from the final year of primary school to first year of post-primary school from the perspective of teachers involved with these year groups. It examines teachers’ knowledge of the mathematics curriculum and teaching strategies employed in the other phase. The majority of primary teachers reported being unfamiliar with the curriculum and teaching approaches employed in the first year of post-primary and the differences between the two jurisdictions were not significant. However, a difference was noted in the responses of second level teachers. Teachers in NI appeared more confident in their knowledge of the curriculum and teaching approaches adopted in the final year of primary school than their ROI colleagues. In this paper, the authors will elaborate on these findings; outline possible reasons for the differences across jurisdictions and share what impact teacher knowledge is having on classroom practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-519
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Volume51
Issue number4
Early online date14 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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