PRE-SERVICE MATHEMATICS TEACHERS’ KNOWLEDGE ABOUT FORMS OF REPRESENTING THE DISPERSION OF A DATA SET

Charles K. Assuah

Abstract


An analysis of covariance design was adopted to investigate differences in preservice mathematics teachers’ knowledge about forms of representing the dispersion of a data set, while controlling for age, a quantitative covariate. The participants consisted of 160 pre-service mathematics teachers, who were randomly selected from four colleges of education in Ghana. The preservice teachers, with ages ranging between 21 and 27 years, had all completed the Colleges of Education mathematics teaching syllabus.The results indicated that age co-varied significantly with the teachers’ rated responses, F (1, 155) = 6.17,  p < .05, partial =.04.  There were significant differences in the teachers’ rated responses in the four colleges, F (1, 155) = 2.78, p < .05, partial =.08, controlling forage. College accounted for 8% of the variability in teachers’ rated responses. Post-hoc pairwise multiple comparison tests using Bonferroni alpha levels, indicated that teachers’ rated responses in College A were greater those in College B, t (78) = 1.64,  p< .05.The results further indicated that there were no significant differences in teachers’ rated responses by gender, F (1, 157) = 0.51,  p > .05.There was no interaction effect between college and gender, F (3, 151) = 0.30,  p > 0.05, there were no main effects by college, F (3,151) = 2.34,  p > 0.05, and by gender, F (1, 151) = 0.58, p > 0.05.The descriptive statistics indicated that teachers’ rated responses aboutforms of representing the dispersion of a data set were highest for variance, M = 8.12, SD = 1.05, range, M = 7.57, SD = 1.13, and standard deviation, M = 7.52, SD = 1.08, butwere lower for Coefficient of Variation, M = 4.06, SD = 1.14 and Mean Absolute Deviation, M = 4.17, SD = 1.08. This study has demonstrated that preservice mathematics teachers should thoroughly understand every topic before graduating from the college of education. To achieve these, preservice mathematics teachers must ensure that both content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge become the bedrock of their classroom instructions.

Keywords


Dispersion, preservice mathematics teachers, covariance, colleges of Education, Teachers’ rated responses.

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