Pre-Service Teacher Education System (Published)
Education is what begins when you leave school (Oscar Wilde, cited in Lawton, 1986). According to Adams (1971) education is a composite of skills, techniques, cognitive and non-cognitive learning many of which have long-range rather than immediate consequences. P-Brown, Oke and Nacino-Brown. (1992) also describe education as initiating into activities and modes of thought that are worthwhile and stress that education implies that a person has achieved or will eventually achieve a state of mind characterised by a mastery of and a care for worthwhile things viewed in some kind of cognitive perspective. The main purpose of education, whether formal or informal, has been to produce a person who will be a useful member of society (McWilliam & Kwamena-Poh, 1978).
Issues and Options for Using Multimedia to Improve Pre-Service Mathematics Teacher Education in Ghana (Published)
It is well documented that the overly theoretical coursework in conventional mathematics teacher education programs does not effectively challenge pre-service mathematics teachers’ preconceived ideas about the teaching of mathematics. In addition, field experiences provided for pre-service teachers have been shown to have inherent limitations. Consequently, several mathematics educators have drawn attention to the need to engage pre-service mathematics teachers in experiences that present actual teaching practices and make it possible for them to study or critique those practices reflectively. In the developed countries like the US there appears to be a growing interest in the potential of multimedia systems to bring this type of reflective and critical thinking about the teaching of mathematics. In the developing countries such as Ghana, very little of such efforts, if any, is being done to improve mathematics teacher education. This paper looks at the potential of these multimedia environments to improve education of prospective mathematics teachers in Ghana. It focuses on how multimedia programs fit into contemporary theories of teacher learning and supports this with a discussion of empirical research efforts at using multimedia programs to facilitate education of prospective mathematics teachers. Implications for pre-service mathematics teacher education in Ghana are also presented.
Pre-Service Teachers’ Use of Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Teaching and Learning Mathematics at Basic Seven in Akatsi District, Ghana (Published)
The purpose of the study is to explore how pre-service teachers’ use their Pedagogical Content Knowledge (teachers’ knowledge of content and students’ thinking process) to identify and diagnose students’ misconceptions in comparing, adding, multiplying and dividing fractions. Pre-service teachers were expected to identify students’ misconceptions, give reasons of students’ misconceptions, and ask specific questions to diagnose students’ thinking processes that lead to the misconceptions. A total of 72 pre-service teachers teaching Mathematics were purposively selected out of 320 students from the schools of practice. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. Data collected were analyzed using frequencies, percentages and means. The study revealed that about 60% of the pre-service teachers could identify the students’ misconceptions but only 17% of them could articulate the reasons for students’ misconceptions clearly. Also about 58% of the pre-service teachers asked probing questions instead of specific questions to diagnose students’ misconceptions and only about 14% of them asked specific questions. It was concluded that most of the pre-service teachers were able to identify students’ misconception but could not give reasons for the students’ misconceptions. In addition, majority of the pre-service teachers could not ask specific questions to diagnose students’ misconceptions. It was recommended that teacher training institutions integrate pedagogical content knowledge in to the curriculum to equip pre-service teachers with skills that would enable them to analyze students’ thinking processes.