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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(3), 790-806.
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Pre-service mathematics teachers' use of the mathematics register

Ciara Lane, Niamh O'Meara and Richard Walsh
University of Limerick, Ireland

This paper describes a small-scale study examining one facet of pre-service mathematics teachers' knowledge for teaching. While mathematical knowledge for teaching has received extensive attention from researchers with regards to pre-service teachers, there has been little research on the mathematics register proficiency of this cohort. In this study, we examine a group of pre-service mathematics teachers' mathematics register during a peer-teaching lesson. The authors adapt Rowland's Knowledge Quartet as a framework for the study, by conceptually aligning mathematics register proficiency to each of the four dimensions: foundation, transformation, connection and contingency. Findings indicate pre-service mathematics teachers lack understanding of the significance of the mathematics register and its role in mathematics teaching for eliciting mathematical understanding for students. There was evidence of over-reliance on the everyday register and a lack of fluency with regards to the mathematics register in practice. There is an exigent need for greater emphasis to be placed on developing pre-service mathematics teachers' mathematics register proficiency during initial teacher education, not only to improve pre-service teachers' own knowledge and understanding, but also their ability to facilitate mathematics register proficiency in their future students.
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Authors: Dr Ciara Lane is a Projects Officer in Mathematics at EPI·STEM, the National Centre for STEM Education at the University of Limerick. Her research interests include mathematics teacher education (both initial and continuing), out-of-field teaching, and mathematics-related affect.
Email: ciara.lane@ul.ie
Web: http://epistem.ie/team-view/dr-ciara-lane

Dr Niamh O'Meara is a lecturer in mathematics and secondary level mathematics education in the University of Limerick. Niamh is based in EPI·STEM which is a leading national organisation promoting excellence in teaching mathematics at both primary and secondary levels.
Email: niamh.omeara@ul.ie
Web: http://epistem.ie/team-view/niamh-omeara

Dr Richard Walsh is the manager of the Mathematics Learning Centre at the University of Limerick. His research interests include the learning and teaching of mathematics in higher education and at post-primary level.
Email: Richard.Walsh@ul.ie
Web: https://ulsites.ul.ie/mlc/

Please cite as: Lane, C., O'Meara, N. & Walsh, R. (2019). Pre-service mathematics teachers' use of the mathematics register. Issues in Educational Research, 29(3), 790-806. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/lane.pdf

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Created 14 Jul 2019. Last correction: 14 Jul 2019.
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