Mathematical Knowledge of Middle School Teachers: Implications for the No Child Left Behind Policy Initiative
This article explores middle school teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching and the relationship between such knowledge and teachers’subject matter preparation, certification type, teaching experience, and their students’ poverty status. The author administered multiple-choice measures to a nationally representative sample of teachers and found that those with more mathematical course work, a subject-specific certification, and high school teaching experience tended to possess higher levels of teaching-specific mathematical knowledge. However, teachers with strong mathematical knowledge for teaching are, like those with full credentials and preparation, distributed unequally across the population of U.S. students. Specifically, more affluent students are more likely to encounter more knowledgeable teachers. The author discusses the implications of this for current U.S. policies aimed at improving teacher quality.