First Year and Beyond: Beginning Primary School Teachers and Teaching Mathematics

Judith Geeves

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    234 Downloads (Pure)


    The most important single factor in determining the quality of
    students’ mathematical learning is what the teacher does in the
    classroom—their classroom practice. Therefore, supporting the
    development of beginning primary school teachers’ mathematical
    classroom practice is an important part of the wider national agenda
    to increase the mathematical outcomes for all Australian school

    This study explores how various personal and school factors
    influence the development of mathematical classroom practice in
    beginning teachers over the first few years of their teaching careers.
    As such, it provides a greater understanding of this process, which,
    in turn, will assist those responsible for facilitating beginning teacher
    development to provide appropriate support at the appropriate time,
    based on the identified needs of the beginning teacher.

    This is a mixed method, longitudinal study that is primarily concerned
    with investigating the social, or lived, reality of beginning primary
    school teachers in the first years of their teaching career. As such, a
    research design was formulated that incorporated the following data
    collection techniques: surveys, semi-structured interviews,
    mathematics testing and classroom observations. The data collected
    were then analysed and used to generate individual case stories of
    the development of beginning primary school teachers as teachers of

    This study identified links between beginning teacher confidence,
    school context and classroom practice and how schools can use
    these understandings to better support the mathematical
    development of beginning primary school teachers. It also identified
    that there needs to be a greater focus on the rigor of mathematical
    content in school and classroom programs, professional
    development, planning discussions, activity selection, lesson
    evaluations and student assessment in order for beginning teachers to develop as effective teachers of primary mathematics
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Lowrie, Tom, Principal Supervisor, External person
    Award date01 Dec 2014
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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