Scaffolding the mathematical “connections”: A new approach to preparing teachers for the teaching of lower secondary algebra

Document Type

Journal Article


Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Western Australia


School of Education


Originally published as: Ormond, C. A. (2016). Scaffolding the Mathematical" Connections": A New Approach to Preparing Teachers for the Teaching of Lower Secondary Algebra. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(6), 122-164. Available here.


This paper discusses the results of a three-year mixed methods study into the effectiveness of a mathematics education unit. This was written for both pre-service primary education students and re-training in-service teachers, to prepare them for the teaching of pre-algebra and early algebra. The unit was taught rom 2013 to 2015 inclusively in a School of Education setting of a university in an Australian capital city. Focusing on the Number and Algebra strand in the Australian Curriculum, its purpose was to better prepare some novice teachers through modelling a more coherent approach to mathematics teaching. The unit 's genesis lies in the author 's belief that many mathematics teachers conduct their classes in isolated "pockets" of instruction that are not sufficiently informed by a broader, connected understanding of the mathematics. The unit was also prepared as a contribution to the recent call by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers for more targeted initiatives to combat the decrease of STEM skills in our schools (AAMT, 2014). Results from the analysis of this study suggest that there might be much to be gained from this new approach.



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