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Investigation of Geometry Content Knowledge of Secondary B.

Sc(Mathematics) and
Other Science Graduate Student Teachers: Case of Triangles

Action Research

Submitted to the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University for the

Certificate of Diploma in School Management under faculty of Education.

Research Student


Research Guide



Tilak college of Education &Extension ,Pune


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1 General Introduction
Background of the theory
Statement Problem
Operational Definition, Terms
3 Importance of Study
4 Objective of Study
5 Review of Related Literature& Research
6 Assumption
7 Research Hypothesis
Null Hypothesis
Research Methodology
Methods of Research
Research Design
8 Population
Sampling & Sample
Data collection Tools/Technique
Data Analysis tools/Statistical tools
9 Scope ,Limitation & Delimitation
10 Significance of the Study
11 Possible Knowledge Contribution
12 Timetable/Research Schedule
13 References

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“The successful teaching of geometry depends on teachers knowing a good deal
of geometry and how to teach it effectively.“

The main goal of mathematics education in schools is the mathematisation of the

child’s thinking.Clarity of thought and pursuing assumptions to logical
conclusions is central to the mathematicalenterprise. There are many ways of
thinking, and the kind of thinking one learns in mathematicsis an ability to handle
abstractions, and an approach to problem solving.
Universalization of schooling has important implications for mathematics
curriculum. Mathematics being a compulsory subject of study, access to quality
mathematics education isevery child’s right. We want mathematics education that
is affordable to every child, and at thesame time, enjoyable. With many children
exiting the system after Class VIII, mathematics educationat the elementary stage
should help children prepare for the challenges they face further in life.In our
vision, school mathematics takes place in a situation where: (1) Children learn to
enjoy mathematics, (2) Children learn important mathematics, (3) Mathematics is
a part of children’s lifeexperience which they talk about, (4) Children pose and
solve meaningful problems, (5) Childrenuse abstractions to perceive relationships
and structure, (6) Children understand the basic structureof mathematics and (7)
Teachers expect to engage every child in class.
On the other hand, mathematics education in our schools is beset with problems.
We identifythe following core areas of concern: (a) A sense of fear and failure
regarding mathematics amonga majority of children, (b) A curriculum that
disappoints both a talented minority as well as thenon-participating majority at
the same time, (c) Crude methods of assessment that encourageperception of
mathematics as mechanical computation, and (d) Lack of teacher preparation
andsupport in the teaching of mathematics. Systemic problems further aggravate
the situation, in the sense that structures of social discrimination get reflected in
mathematics education as well. Especiallyworth mentioning in this regard is the
gender dimension, leading to a stereotype that boys arebetter at mathematics than

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The analysis of these problems lead us to recommend: (a) Shifting the focus of
mathematicseducation from achieving ‘narrow’ goals to ‘higher’ goals, (b)
Engaging every student with a senseof success, while at the same time offering
conceptual challenges to the emerging mathematician,(c) Changing modes of
assessment to examine students’ mathematization abilities rather thanprocedural
knowledge, and (d) Enriching teachers with a variety of mathematical resources.
The shift in focus we propose is from mathematical content to mathematical
learningenvironments, where a whole range of processes take precedence: formal
problem solving, useof heuristics, estimation and approximation, optimization,
use of patterns, visualization,representation, reasoning and proof, making
connections, mathematical communication. Givingimportance to these processes
also helps in removing fear of mathematics from children’s minds. A crucial
implication of such a shift lies in offering a multiplicity of approaches,
procedures, solutions. We see this as crucial for liberating school mathematics
from the tyranny of the oneright answer, found by applying the one algorithm
taught. Such learning environments inviteparticipation, engage children, and offer
a sense of success.
In terms of assessment, we recommend that Board examinations be restructured,
so that theminimum eligibility for a State certificate is numeracy, reducing the
instance of failure in mathematics.On the other hand, at the higher end, we
recommend that examinations be more challenging,evaluating conceptual
understanding and competence.
We note that a great deal needs to be done towards preparing teachers for
mathematicseducation. A large treasury of resource material, which teachers can
access freely as well as contributeto, is badly needed. Networking of school
teachers among themselves as well as with universityteachers will help.
When it comes to curricular choices, we recommend moving away from the
current structureof tall and spindly education (where one concept builds on
another, culminating in universitymathematics), to a broader and well-rounded
structure, with many topics “closer to the ground”.If accommodating processes
like geometric visualization can only be done by reducing content,we suggest that
content be reduced rather than compromise on the former. Moreover, wesuggest a

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principle of postponement: in general, if a theme can be offered with better
motivation and applications at a later stage, wait for introducing it at that stage,
rather than go for technicalpreparation without due motivation.
Our vision of excellent mathematical education is based on the twin premises that
all studentscan learn mathematics and that all students need to learn mathematics.
It is thereforeimperative that we offer mathematics education of the very highest
quality to all children.( position paper-National Focus Group On Teaching Of

General Introduction :
Inadequate Teacher Preparation. More so than any other content discipline,
mathematicseducation relies very heavily on the preparation that the teacher has,
in her own understanding of mathematics, of the nature of mathematics, and in
her bag of pedagogic techniques. Textbook-centred pedagogy dulls the teacher’s
own mathematics activity.
At two ends of the spectrum, mathematics teaching poses special problems. At
the primary level, most teachers assume that they know all the mathematics
needed, and in the absence of any specific pedagogic training, simply try and
uncritically reproduce the techniques they experienced in their school days. Often
this ends up perpetuating problems across time andspace.At the secondary and
higher secondary level, some teachers face a different situation. The syllabi have
considerably changed since their school days, and in the absence of systematic
and continuing educationprogrammes for teachers, their fundamentals in
manyconcept areas are not strong. This encourages reliance on ‘notes’ available
in the market, offering little breadth or depth for the students.While inadequate
teacher preparation and support acts negatively on all of school mathematics, at
the primary stage, its main consequence is this mathematics pedagogy rarely
resonates with the findings of children’s psychology. At the upper primary
stage,when the language of abstractions is formalised in algebra, inadequate
teacher preparation reflects as inability to link formal mathematics with
experiential learning. Later on, it reflects as incapacity to offer connections

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within mathematics or across subject areas to applications in the sciences, thus
depriving students of important motivation and appreciation.

Background of the theory:

Two theoretical constructs guided this study—Ma’s (1999) depiction of
ProfoundUnderstanding of Fundamental Mathematics (PUFM) and the van Hiele
level theory. PUFMprovides the ideal structure of elementary teachers' content
knowledge in general. The van Hielelevel theory, developed in the late 1950s by
two Dutch educators, Pierre van Hiele and Dina vanHiele-Geldof, describes the
levels of mental development in geometry (van Hiele, 1986).
Overall, PUFM, cited by over 800 papers in the database of Google Scholar, has
been regardedas the comprehensive and significant ability of elementary teachers
in teaching mathematics incontemporary society, whereas the van Hiele level
theory has been used to study studentperformances of learning geometry (Senk,
1989) and pre-service teachers' reasoning stages(Halat, 2008).
A Perspective on Teachers' Content Knowledge:
PUFMMa (1999) developed PUFM as a deep, thorough, and comprehensive
understanding ofelementary mathematics. PUFM includes the following
characteristics: ―[I]t [PUFM] is theawareness of the conceptual structure and
basic attitudes of mathematics inherent in elementarymathematics and the ability
to provide a foundation for that conceptual structure and instill thosebasic
attitudes in students‖ (p. 124). Teachers with PUFM tend to focus on both
mathematicalconcepts and procedures; cherish multiple viewpoints, as well as
various approaches whensolving a mathematical problem; strengthen simple but
crucial basic principles, such asrecognizing properties of two dimensional
shapes; and possess great capacities for incorporatingprevious concepts that
students have already learned with brand-new concepts along with thoseto be
studied later (Ma, 1999). Ma's study demonstrated that mathematics teachers with
PUFMmake greater contributions to their teaching than those who do not have
PUFM. Moreover,PUFM strongly links to what Skemp (1978) portrayed as the
relational understandingknowing both what to do and why‖ (p. 9)—and clearly
explains why a great number of teachershave capacities to solve mathematical

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problems but could not appropriately offer the rightinterpretations regarding their
solutions (Post et al., 1991).
A Perspective on Levels of Geometric Thinking:
The van Hiele LevelsHoffer (1981) provides an overall description in regard to
the five van Hiele levels: Level1 is Recognition and ―[t]he student learns some
vocabulary and recognizes a shape as a whole‖(p. 13); Level 2 is Analysis and
―[t]he student analyzes properties of figures‖ (p. 14); Level 3 is6Ordering and
―[t]he student logically orders figures and understands interrelationships
betweenfigures and the importance of accurate definitions‖ (p. 14); Level 4 is
Deduction and ―[t]hestudent understands the significance of deduction and the
role of postulates, theorems, andproof‖ (p. 14); Level 5 is Rigor and ―[t]he
student understands the importance of precision indealing with foundations and
interrelationships between structures‖ (p. 14). To illustrate what isinvolved in
each level, consider Level 1 as an example. Students at this level have the ability
torecognize pictures of rectangles. However, students do not seem to have
awareness of severalproperties of rectangles (Hoffer, 1981).
According to the model, three characteristics exist among a five-level hierarchy
of waysof understanding in geometry—one is the existence of levels, another is
properties of the levels,and, finally, there is the movement from one level to the
next (Usiskin, 1982). Furthermore, thelevels are in order and the progression
through the levels is sequential. That is, students movethrough one level if they
obtain accurate geometric thinking for the level and produce thethought that is
necessary for the next level (Hoffer, 1981).Hill et al. (2004) demonstrate that
teachers' knowledge is positively related to theachievements of their students. To
be able to teach geometry effectively to elementary schoolstudents, teachers need
to develop PUFM that is specific to the geometry learning. They need
tounderstand the conceptual structure of elementary geometry topics. It is
unlikely that pre-serviceteachers will be able to develop the full PUFM in
geometry as part of their teacher educationprogram.

Statement Problem:
Investigation ofGeometry Content Knowledge of B.Sc. (Mathematics) and

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OtherScience Graduate secondary Student Teachers: Case of Triangles

Operational Definition, Terms:

1) Geometry- A Branch of mathematics.
2) Content Knowledge-
a) Mastery of core concepts and principles of Euclidean geometry in the plane
and space,
b) Understanding of the nature of axiomatic reasoning and the role that it has
played in the development of mathematics and facility in fundamental proof
c) Understanding and skill in use of a variety of methods for studying geometric
problems-including synthetic, transformation, coordinate, and vector
d) Understanding of trigonometry from a geometric perspective and skill in use
of trigonometric relationships to solve problems,
e) Knowledge of some significant modern aspects of geometry like
Tiling,computer graphics, robotics, fractals, and spatial visualization,
f) Ability to use computer-based dynamic drawing tools to conduct geometric
investigations emphasizing visualization, pattern recognition, and

3) B.Sc.(Mathematics)- Bachelor of Science with specialization in mathematics.

4) Other Science graduate-Bachelor of Science with specialization in subject
other than mathematics.
5) SecondaryStudent Teachers- Students who have been pursuing teachers
training in B.Ed. Course for teaching secondary level( 9th& 10th ) children.
{ In this research 80 [ 40 B.Sc.(mathematics) and 40 other Science Graduate]
student teachers ofB.Ed. colleges of Pune city will be selected.}

Importance of study:
At Secondary stage Mathematics comes to the student as an academic
discipline. In a sense, at the elementary stage, mathematics education is (or

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ought to be) guided more by the logic of children’s psychology of learning rather
than the logic of mathematics. But at the secondary stage, the student begins to
perceive the structure of mathematics. For this, the notions of argumentation and
proof become central to curriculum now.
Mathematical terminology is highly stylized, self-conscious and rigorous.
The student begins to feel comfortable and at ease with the characteristics of
mathematical communication: carefully defined terms and concepts, the use of
symbols to represent them, precisely stated propositions using only terms defined
earlier, and proofs justifying propositions. The student appreciates how an edifice
is built up, arguments constructed using propositions justified earlier, to prove a
theorem, which in turn is used in proving more.
For long, geometry and trigonometry have wisely been regarded as the
arena wherein students can learn to appreciate this structure best. In the
elementary stage, if students have learnt many shapes and know how to associate
quantities and formulas with them, here they start reasoning about these shapes
using the defined quantities and formulas.
Algebra, introduced earlier, is developed at some length at this stage.
Facility with algebraic manipulation is essential, not only for applications of
mathematics, but also internally in mathematics. Proofs in geometry and
trigonometry show the usefulness of algebraic machinery. It is important to
ensure that students learn to geometrically visualize what they accomplish
A substantial part of the secondary mathematics curriculum can be devoted
to consolidation. This can be and needs to be done in many ways. Firstly, the
student needs to integrate the many techniques of mathematics she has learnt into
a problem solving ability. For instance, this implies a need for posing problems
to students which involve more than one content area: algebra and trigonometry,
geometry and mensuration, and so on. Secondly, mathematics is used in the
physical and social sciences, and making the connections explicit can inspire
students immensely. Thirdly, mathematical modelling, data analysis and
interpretation, taught at this stage, can consolidate a high level of literacy. For
instance, consider an environment related project, where the student has to set up

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a simple linear approximation and model a phenomenon, solve it, visualise the
solution, and deduce a property of the modelled system. The consolidated
learning from such an activity builds a responsible citizen, who can later
intuitively analyze information available in the media and contribute to
democratic decision making.
At the secondary stage, a special emphasis on experimentation and
exploration may be worthwhile. Mathematics laboratories are a recent
phenomenon, which hopefully will expand considerably in future. Activities in
practical mathematics help students immensely in visualization. Indeed, Singh,
Avtar and Singh offer excellent suggestions for activities at all stages. Periodic
systematic evaluation of the impact of such laboratories and activitieswill help in
planning strategies for scaling up these attempts.
Objective of Study:The systemic changes that we have advocated require
substantial investments of time, energy, and support on the part of teachers.
Professional development, affecting the beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and
practices of teachers in the school, is central to achieving this change. In order for
the vision described in this paper to become a reality, it is critical that
professional development focuses on mathematics specifically. Generic ‘teacher
training’ does not provide the understanding of content, of instructional
techniques, and of critical issues in mathematics education that is needed by
classroom teachers.
There are many mechanisms that need to be ensured to offer better teacher
support and professional development, but the essential and central requirement
is that of a large treasury of resource material which teachers can access freely as
well as contribute to. Further, networking of teachers so that expertise and
experience can be shared is important. In addition, identifying and nurturing
resource teachers can greatly help the process. Regional mathematics libraries
may be built to act as resource centres.
An important area of concern is the teacher’s own perception of what
mathematics is, and what constitute the goals of mathematics education. Many of
the processes we have outlined above are not considered to be central by most

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mathematics teachers, mainly because of the way they were taught and a lack of
any later training on such processes.
Offering a range of material to teachers that enriches their understanding of the
subject, provides insights into the conceptual and historical development of the
subject and helps them innovate in their classrooms is the best means of teacher
support. For this, providing channels of communication with college teachers and
research mathematicians will be of great help. When teachers network among
themselves and link up with teachers in universities, their pedagogic competence
will be strengthened immensely. Such systematic sharing of experience and
expertise can be of great help.

Review of Related Literature & Research:

The most commonly accepted definition of teacher knowledge was given by
Shulman (1986, 1987), who developed a cognitive model of teacher knowledge,
which consists three types of teacher knowledge; content knowledge (CK),
pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and curriculum knowledge. CK refers to
knowledge base of the content one is teaching, such as mathematics. PCK “…
goes beyond knowledge of subject matter per se to the dimensions of subject
matter knowledge for teaching…” (p. 9). PCK is the type of knowledge that
distinguishes the work of a teacher from the work of a scientist. The third
knowledge, curriculum knowledge addresses effective use of curriculum
materials and being familiar with other subjects that students study.
Among these knowledge types, content knowledge stands out as a point of focus
for teacher education. Brown and Borko (1992) asserted that PSTs’ limited
mathematical content knowledge is an obstacle for their training on pedagogical
knowledge. In the mathematics education field, mathematical knowledge for
teaching (MKT) was developed as following the Shulman’s model for teacher
knowledge (Ball et al., 2008). MKT model addresses how a teacher uses
mathematics for teaching (Ball, 2000). According to MKT model, there are six
domains of teacher’s content knowledge which can be categorized under
Shulman’s different types of knowledge (Ball, Thames & Phelps, 2008). There
are three domains under subject matter knowledge: common content knowledge

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(CCK, mathematics knowledge not unique to teaching), specialized content
knowledge (SCK, mathematics knowledge unique to teaching), and horizon
content knowledge (knowledge of mathematics throughout the curriculum). Also,
there are three domains under pedagogical content knowledge: knowledge of
content and students (KCS, interaction of knowledge of mathematics and
students’ mathematical conceptions), knowledge of content and teaching (KCT,
interaction of knowledge of mathematics and teaching methods), and knowledge
of content and curriculum (interaction of knowledge of mathematics and
mathematics curriculum).
Many leading mathematics education researchers, Ball (2000), Rowland,
Huckstep and Thwaites (2005), Usiskin (2001) discussed role of addressing
content preparation of teachers in the context of teaching. There are two practices
stands out in the literature to address teachers’ knowledge which are using video
discussion groups (Sherin& Han, 2004) and using students’ work to analyze
(Kazemi&Franke, 2004). The synthesis of the literature on these two practices
shows that the practice of video discussion groups allows for deeper discussion
on PCK while absence of classroom environment in students’ work allows for
deeper discussion on CK by teachers (Lampert& Ball, 1998; Sherin& Han,
2004). Using students’ work to analyze what students know and what they are
learning to facilitate teacher learning results in teachers’ deeper subject matter
knowledge (Kazemi&Franke, 2004). Therefore, using students work in a
methods course could also improve PSTs’ mathematics knowledge for teaching
especially when they have no classroom connection during the methods course.
Content knowledge of teachers is important for every subject including
geometry. The limited number of research projects focused on knowledge of
geometry for teaching concludes that beginning teachers are not equipped with
necessary CK and PCK for geometry, and it is important to address this issue in
teacher education (Jones, 2000; Swafford, Jones, & Thornton, 1997). In a study
of middle and secondary school teachers’ geometry content knowledge, Fostering
Geometric Thinking (FGT), content activities and analysis of student work were
used with in-service teachers (Driscol, Egan, Dimatteo&Nikula, 2009). FGT
study showed significant difference between control group teachers who did not

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receive any professional development and treatment group teachers who received
20-week long intervention. The intervention was designed to provide geometry
content experiences for teachers and analysis of student work from teachers own
classroom in order to address geometry content knowledge in the context of
In discussing the impact of teacher knowledge on learning mathematics, Jones,
Langrall,Thornton, and Nisbet (2002) observe that current models of teaching
mathematics, includingguided reinvention, Open-Approach Method, and the
Mathematics Teaching Cycle (see Jones, etal, 2002 for references) all reflect the
belief that instruction should be informed in part by teacherknowledge of
mathematics. Perry and Docket (2002) also note that,One important point to
make here is that if adults are to play the role of 'knowingassistant and supporter,'
they need to know the mathematics with which their children aredealing. Not
only do they need to be able to handle the questions posed, or at least be ableto
see a route toward a solution, but they also need to have what Ma (1999, p. 124)
calleda 'profound understanding of fundamental mathematics' (p. 103)for which
Perry and Dockett indicate few teachers of young children have.Because the
Geometry Standard from the National Council of Teachers of
MathematicsPrinciples and Standards for School Mathematics states a desire for
learners to "analyzecharacteristics and properties of two- and three- dimensional
geometric shapes and developmathematical arguments about geometric
relationships" (NCTM, 2000, p. 41), teachers ofelementary school children need
sufficient geometry content knowledge to help them realizethese curricular
expectations for children's learning of geometry. The Conference Board of
theMathematical Sciences observes that much of the geometry content proposed
in curricula is new(CBMS, 2001, p. 21). Furthermore, they advocate that teachers
of young children developcompetence in such content as, "Basic shapes, their
properties, and relationships among them:developing an understanding of angles,
transformations (reflections, rotations, and translations),congruence and
similarity" (CBMS, 2001, p. 21) and in "Communicating geometric
ideas:learning technical vocabulary and understanding the role of mathematical
definition" (CBMS,2001, p. 21). In short, a “profound understanding” of

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geometric ideas is needed by teachers. Thissuggests a need to examine teachers'
understanding of geometry.
J. Pickreign: Rectangles and Rhombi: How Well Do Pre-service Teachers Know
Them?With regard to the CBMS recommendation that teachers be able to
develop competencein properties of basic shapes and their relationships to each
other, and to be able to developcompetence in communicating geometry by
developing vocabulary and "understanding the roleof definition", one may
inquire as to the development of this in pre-service programs. Promptedby a
study by Reinke (1997) who found that pre-service teachers in an elementary
educationprogram presented evidence of confusion with regard to the concepts of
area and perimeter, thequestion of the nature of other obstacles that geometry
topics may present to pre-service teachersis raised.
The present study examines what is revealed about pre-service teachers
understanding ofthe properties and relationships among parallelograms through
their articulation of the meaningof rectangle and rhombus. Its purpose is to
explore and diagnose any misconceptions these pre-serviceteachers have
regarding these shapes.
A teacher is viewed as someone that possesses (or should possess) specific and
adequatecontent knowledge. Jaworski and Wood (1999) note that in various
countries the need toimprove the experience of classroom mathematical learning
through the development of teachers’knowledge of mathematics and knowledge
of pedagogy is still relevant. Farah-Sirkis (1999,p.44) notes that both experienced
and novice teachers view subject matter knowledge as apriority for in-service
training programs and mentions that 80% of teachers viewed subject
matterknowledge as the number one qualification for a good mathematics
Shulman’s work (1986) confirmed the complexity of research into teaching and
teacherbehavior and focused on elements of teacher knowledge (content and
pedagogical contentknowledge) – with teacher knowledge being one of the
factors that influence teacher behavior.
Teacher knowledge and the possible role it plays in the classroom are well
documented (for e.g.Ernest, 1989; Koehler &Grouws, 1992; Kong & Kwok,

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1999), but what and how muchknowledge a teacher needs to be successful
remains a question for debate. The solution requires achange in the nature of
training rather than more content courses as “course taking is not a proxyfor
knowledge” (Ball, 1999, p.21).
The current state of South African primary school (Gr.1-7) teachers’ content
knowledgeand the impact on classrooms have previously been investigated by
South African researchers,including Webb, Bolt, Austin, Cloete, England, Feza,
Ilsley, Kurup, Peires and Wessels (1998),in subjects such as science and
mathematics. These studies brought the state of South Africanteachers’
knowledge to the fore, but none focused solely on Geometry – a problematic
topic insecondary school (Gr.8-12). These studies also did not account for the
influence and adequacy ofpre-service training received by teachers.
This article will endeavour to summarize a two year study investigating both the
state ofpre-service teachers’ (PTs’), teachers’ and learners’ knowledge of grade 7
geometry (using theVan Hiele theory (1986) and the acquisition scales of
Gutiérrez, Jaime and Fortuny (1991)).
Furthermore, the article will investigate the possible relationship between a
teacher’s contentknowledge and the learners’ learning gain. The conclusion will
point to the implications of thefindings, but will also make some
recommendations for both pre and in-service teachereducation.Definitions of
geometry concepts and examples illustrating them are invariably incorporated
as part of instruction by teachers and appear in textbooks designed to enhance
studentunderstanding. Yet a limited understanding of geometry concepts exists
among students (Fuys,Geddes, &Tischler, 1985; Hershkowitz, 1987;
Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1980) and elementarypre-service teachers (Gutierrez &
Jaime, 1999; Hershkowitz, 1987; Mason & Schell, 1988;Mayberry, 1981).
This limited understanding of geometry concepts includes what Vinner and
Hershkowitzidentify as the mismatch between formal concept definitions and
students’ concept images(1980). Because of how concepts are traditionally
taught, a student may be encouraged tomemorize a definition, called the concept
definition. On the other hand, when in the process oftrying to recall a concept, it

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is not the concept definition that comes to mind. A student typicallyremembers
prior experiences with diagrams, attributes, and examples associated with the
concept, instead of the concept definition. All of these experiences embody the
concept image(Gutierrez & Jaime, 1999). The concept image held by some
students can be limited to a singleprototypical image, and an over-reliance on it
can impact their understanding (Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1980).
Another impediment to student understanding of geometry concepts may be due
to thetextbook, which teachers noted as the “most commonly used resource”
(Kajander& Lovric,2009). Some textbooks provide inadequate definitions and a
restricted number of examples,making them deficient (Hershkowitz, 1987;
Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1987). Although teachersfrequently “supplement what
they see as inadequacies in the text” (Love &Pimm, 1996), manyRobert F.
The college of New Jersey.
Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics Preparation of School Teachers
teachers leave what they believe to be well enough alone since a textbook
“organizes themathematics curriculum… [and] it also organizes the work of the
classroom” (Love & Pimm,1996). Hershkowitz (1987) found that “The textbook
and the teacher present mostly theprototypes”. Hence, confusions that occur
among many students “are not [always] stupidity onthe part of the students”
(Tall, 1988). Teaching and learning with a deficient textbook is aconcern since it
may further impede students’ conceptual understanding.
Some of the same difficulties experienced by students (Fuys et. al, 1985;
Hershkowitz, 1987;Vinner&Hershkowitz, 1980) have also been shown to be a
challenge for pre-service teachers(Gutierrez & Jaime, 1999; Hershkowitz, 1987;
Mason & Schell, 1988; Mayberry, 1981).
Researchers have reported that “pre-service elementary teachers do not possess
the level ofmathematical understanding necessary to teach elementary school
mathematics as recommendedin various proclamations from professional
organizations such as [National Council of Teachersof Mathematics] NCTM”
(Brown, Cooney & Jones, 1990). Mason and Spence attribute some ofthe
difficulties in understanding mathematics with the tendency to compartmentalize

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rather thanto form connections which is what is needed for the highest level of
knowledge referred to asknow-to act (1999). Consequently, elementary pre-
service teachers may lack the level ofmathematics knowledge (Brown et al.,
1990) needed to supplement textbook deficiencies.Because of the primary role
played by geometry textbooks in conceptual understanding, further study was
Many researchers have examined teachers’ knowledge and the roles knowledge
plays inshaping teaching practices (Borko& Putnam, 1996; Schoenfeld, 2000;
Schoenfeld, Minstrell, &van Zee, 1999; Sherin, 2002; Shulman, 1986). In such
an approach, knowledge is seen as one ofseveral factors influencing teachers’
goals and their approaches to accomplishing those goals asthey plan for and enact
instruction. While it is undoubtedly the case that teachers needknowledge of
mathematics content, researchers have found it challenging to
establishrelationships between measures of teachers’ content knowledge and
student achievement (Ball,Lubienski, &Mewborn, 2001; Wilson, Floden,
&Ferrini-Mundy, 2002). Teachers’ having morecourses in content is not strongly
correlated with higher achievement for their students (Begle,1979; Monk, 1994).
These and other findings about knowledge resources teachers use havedirected
attention to other kinds of knowledge. Of particular note are influences
researchers havefound of PCK and SCK.PCK is the label used to describe what
teachers know about (among other things) whichtopics typically cause students
difficulty, how different ideas tie together and are organized incurricula, and how
particular examples or explanations can be useful in teaching particularconcepts.
Since the identification of this type of knowledge (Grossman, Wilson, &
Shulman,1989; Shulman, 1986), researchers have found that PCK plays
important roles in teachers’practices and the learning opportunities such practices
create for students. For example,researchers have shown that teachers’
knowledge of the different strategies that their studentswould use to approach
problems is positively correlated with student achievement (Fennemaetal., 1996).
In addition to having PCK at one’s disposal, Ball and colleagues have identified
differenttypes of mathematical knowledge needed for teaching. CCK is the
mathematical “knowledge ofa kind used in a wide variety of settings – in other

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words not unique to teaching; these are notspecialized understandings but are
questions that typically would be answerable by others whoknow mathematics”
(Ball, Hoover Thames, & Phelps, 2008, p. 399). On top of this
knowledgecommon to others, teachers use SCK to engage in a type of
mathematical work to follow andunderstand students’ ideas and solution
strategies. SCK is “the mathematical knowledge‘entailed by teaching’ – in other
words, mathematical knowledge needed to perform the recurrenttasks of teaching
mathematics to students” (Ball et al, 2008, p. 399). These mathematical
tasksinclude following students’ mathematical thinking, evaluating the validity of
student-generatedstrategies, and making sense of student-generated solution
paths. Researchers have examined theknowledge needed to do this work and
found connections between teachers’ possession of thisknowledge and
elementary students’ achievement (Ball & Bass, 2000; Carpenter,
Fennema,Peterson, Chiang, &Loef, 1989; Franke&Kazemi, 2001; Hill, Ball, &
Schilling, 2008; Hill,Rowan, & Ball, 2005; Hill, Schilling, & Ball, 2004). It is
widely acknowledged that the work of mathematics teaching draws upon a deep
andbroad knowledge base, including knowledge of mathematics, pedagogy, and
student learning(Fennema&Franke, 1992; National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards, 1997; NationalCouncil of Teachers of Mathematics
[NCTM], 1991; Shulman, 1986).Mathematics teachersare a special class of users
of mathematics; the knowledge they need to teach mathematics goesbeyond what
is needed by other well-educated adults, including mathematicians (Ball, Bass,
&Hill, 2004; Ball, Lubienski, &Mewborn, 2001; Ball, Thames, & Phelps, 2008).
As described byHill, Rowan, and Ball (2005):
1) Jones, K. (2000), Teacher Knowledge and Professional Development in
Geometry, Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning
Mathematics, 20(3), 109-114.
2) Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Heather Hill, Hyman Bass Laurie Sleep, Imani
Masters Goffney, Mark Thames University of Michigan.
Learning Mathematics for Teaching/Study of Instructional Improvement
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics ,April 5, 2005

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3) Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching and the Mathematical Quality of
Instruction: An Exploratory Study .
Heather C. Hill a ,Merrie L. Blunkb , CharalambosY.Charalambousb ,
Jennifer M. Lewis b , Geoffrey C.Phelpsb , Laurie Sleep b & Deborah
LoewenbergBallaHarvard Graduate School of Education ,b University of
Michigan School of Education ,Published online: 26 Sep 2008.


1) Other Science graduate Student teachers lack conceptual understanding of

2) Other Science graduate Student teachers fail to explain the meaning of a
Geometrical concept and its relation with other concepts and to generate
explanations or other representations for that concept.
3) Other Science graduate Student teachers cannot explain the reasons for
certain mathematical procedures.
4) Other Science graduate Student teachers knowledge about particular
Geometrical concepts often is not complete or correct.

Research Hypothesis:
Mean Score of B.Sc.(Mathematics) student teachers is more than other
science graduate student teachers.
Null Hypothesis:
There is no significant difference in Mean Scores of B.Sc.(Mathematics)
student teachersandother science graduate student teachers.

Research Methodology:
Multiple Method will be used for present Research.
Objective Sampling Analysis
Method Tools Sample
no Method Technique
8 colleges Stratified
1. Qualitative Questionnaire Percentage
200 students sampling

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B.SC.(mathematics) Purposive Percentage
2. Quantitative Test
and 40 other sampling Mean score
science graduate

Research Design:
A quantitative study design was selected since the purpose of this study concerns
pre-servicesecondary teachers' knowledge and their levels of geometric thinking.
In the quantitativedesign, responses to the multiple-choice geometry test items
are the data sources. The multiple-choicetest items are coded by Usiskin’s (1982)
grading system, which allows the researchers toeasily classify the participants’
responses into different levels.

Sample Selection Test Conclusion

Theoretical Framework:

The subject of current research is to investigatethe geometry content knowledge

of science graduate teacher having specialization in mathematics and other. The
reason behind choosing this subject is that when science graduate teacher came in
service at secondary level the work allotted him not depends on his subject of
specialization(Science graduatesother than specialization in mathematics given
task to teach mathematics at 9th &10th). Their knowledge of subject and subject
matter i.e. common content knowledge and special content knowledge is not
sufficient to reach the goal of teaching.
In this research the sample is selected from B.Ed. colleges of Pune
city.From these colleges 80 science graduate student teachers will be selected on
the random basis. Out of which 40 students are B.Sc. (mathematics) and 40 other
science graduates.
A valid test (Usiskin, 1982) will be given to 80 students of various
colleges. On the basis of test data will be analysed and interpretation of the data
will be brought in to the focus and later on findings will be written and
recommendations will be given to each part of educational field.

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Action Plan:

 Selection of Problem
 Proposal Preparation & Presentation
 Finalisation of tools
 Permission of an Educational Head
 Survey of B.Ed. Students
 Analysis of collected data of the survey
 Development & Validation of Programme
 Administration of the Test
 Data analysis & interpretation of data
 Findings

All the Student-teachers of B.Ed. colleges in the state of Maharashtra.

Sampling & Sample:

Research Method Sample Technique Size
Random Stratified From B.Ed.
sampling sampling Colleges of Pune
( 40 B.Sc.
Non Probability Purposive
Quantitative Mathematics and
Sampling sampling
40 other Science

Data collection Tools/Technique:

1) Questionnaire : For B.Ed. student teachers for their information

andforInstitutional Heads.

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2) Test : For B.Ed. Students teacher –To Study content

Data Analysis tools/Statistical tools:

Both descriptive and inferential statistics will be used. It will include:
1) Tabulation
2) Graphical Presentation
3) Percentage
4) T-Test

Scope ,Limitation& Delimitation:

1) A research is related to Geometry ( Case of Triangles)
2) A research will be useful to all schools , B.Ed. Training colleges and for
further research work.

1) The conclusion will be depends upon the responses given by secondary

student teachers of Pune city only.


1) The content knowledge is in the reference to context only.

2) The study will be delimited for 80 students of 8 Education College.
3) The study will be dlimited for one acadmic year.
4) Variables: In this research there is no variable.

Significance of the Study:

Present study focuses on the importance of Content knowledge of

Geometry. For teaching of Geometry the basic concepts and strong
subject matter is needed for skilled teaching and learning.

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Possible Knowledge Contribution:

The research will contribute in the field of training of teacher , for

educator , curriculum developer and for the selection committee members
of the institution for recruitment of teachers.

Timetable/Research Schedule:

Sr.No Objective Time

1 Data Collection 2 months
2 Creation of test 6 Months
Administration of
3 8 Months
4 Analysis of Data 6 Months
5 Report writing 6 Months
6 Typing & Binding 2 Months
Total 30 Months

Sr.No Objective Rupees

1 Travelling 20000
2 Creation of tools 15000
3 Data Collection 10000
4 Report writing 10000
Typing, Printing&
5 10000
Total 65000


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