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TEDS-M

Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics

The IEA Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) was an international comparative study of primary and secondary mathematics teacher education. TEDS-M examined how different countries have prepared their teachers to teach mathematics in primary and lower-secondary school.

The key research questions focused on the relationships between teacher education policies, institutional practices, and future teachers' mathematics and pedagogy knowledge at the end of their preservice education. The study gathered information on various characteristics of teacher education institutions, programs, and curricula; the opportunities to learn within these contexts; and future teachers' knowledge and beliefs about mathematics and learning mathematics. The main data collection was carried out in 2007–2008.

A small study linked to TEDS-M compared the salaries of primary and secondary mathematics teachers with those of individuals in other mathematics-oriented professions, and investigated the relationship between what mathematics teachers were paid and student performance on international mathematics tests.

Target population

TEDS-M surveyed teacher education institutions, educators of future teachers, and future teachers (primary and secondary level).

Participating education systems

Botswana, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Georgia, Germany, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland (German-speaking cantons), Thailand, and United States.

Key findings

Provision of teacher education

There was considerable variation in national policies related to quality assurance, entry requirements, program length, and the opportunities to learn mathematics and mathematics pedagogy that programs provided to their future teachers. Differences in the organization and types of teacher education programs were also evident within and across the participating countries.

Programs that were focused on preparing teachers to teach higher curricular levels (lower and upper-secondary grades) provided, on average, opportunities to learn mathematics in more depth than programs that prepared teachers for the primary level. Almost all teacher education programs included extended teaching practice, but fewer included field experience enabling future teachers to become familiar with school organizational and managerial issues. In order to graduate, future teachers in most countries had to demonstrate readiness for teaching by gaining passing grades in all subjects, written or oral examinations, and/or theses.

Mathematics and pedagogy content knowledge of future teachers

There was a wide range of achievement between the highest and lowest-scoring countries, even when grade span and degree of specialization were similar. Among the programs preparing generalist primary teachers, Chinese Taipei and Singapore had the highest averages in both mathematics content knowledge and mathematics pedagogy content knowledge. Poland and Singapore showed high achievement of their future specialist teachers at the primary level. In Norway, teachers being prepared for both primary and lower-secondary teaching had the strongest performance, especially in the pedagogical knowledge items. Among the programs preparing lower and upper-secondary teachers, Chinese Taipei, Germany, the Russian Federation, and Singapore had the highest scores.

The TEDS-M findings suggest that the design of teacher education curricula can have a substantial effect on the mathematics and pedagogy knowledge that future teachers acquire via the opportunities to learn provided for them. For instance, where countries offered separate programs for generalist and specialist teachers at the primary level, the future specialist teachers tended to perform better on the TEDS-M knowledge assessments. At the secondary level, future teachers whose programs prepared them to teach at the lower and upper-secondary grades had higher achievement, on average, than those trained for the lower-secondary level only. In general, countries with programs providing the most comprehensive opportunities to learn university and school-level mathematics tended to have higher scores on the TEDS-M tests.

Beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning

Teacher educators and future teachers in all countries generally endorsed the view that mathematics is a process of enquiry, and that mathematics is best learned through active student involvement rather than just following the teacher's directions. There was a weak but consistent tendency for future teachers who endorsed the beliefs that mathematics is a process of enquiry and that learning mathematics requires active involvement to have relatively greater knowledge of mathematics content and pedagogy than those who rejected these beliefs.

There was considerable diversity across countries in the extent to which teacher educators and future teachers saw mathematics as a set of rules and procedures and as a fixed ability. These beliefs were more strongly supported in Botswana, Georgia, Malaysia, Oman, the Philippines, and Thailand; they were most strongly rejected in Germany, Norway, and Switzerland. Notably, in every country the pattern of beliefs held by future teachers tended to match closely those of the teacher educators.

Quality assurance

The TEDS-M data indicated a positive relationship between the strength of quality assurance arrangements and future teachers' mathematics and pedagogy knowledge. Countries with high achievement on the TEDS-M knowledge tests tended to place the greatest emphasis on policies that enable the high quality of entrants to teacher education, balance teacher demand and supply, ensure a rigorous system of assessment/accreditation of teacher education programs, and set high standards for entry to the profession (i.e., gaining registration licensing) after graduation.

Major publications

Brese, F., & Tatto, M.T. (Eds.). (2012). TEDS-M 2008 user guide for the international database. Amsterdam: IEA.

Carnoy, M., Beteille, T., Brodziak, I., Loyalka, P., & Luschei, T. (2009). Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M): Do countries paying teachers higher relative salaries have higher student mathematics achievement? Amsterdam: IEA.

Ingvarson, L., Schwille, J., Tatto, M.T., Rowley, G., Peck, R., & Senk, S.L. (2013). An analysis of teacher education context, structure, and quality-assurance arrangements in TEDS-M countries: Findings from the IEA Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M). Amsterdam: IEA.

Schwille, J., Ingvarson, L., & Holdgreve-Resendez, R. (Eds.). (2013). TEDS-M encyclopedia: A guide to teacher education context, structure, and quality assurance in 17 countries. Findings from the IEA Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M). Amsterdam: IEA.

Tatto, M.T. (Ed.). (2013). The Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M): Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics in 17 countries. Technical report. Amsterdam: IEA.

Tatto, M.T., Schwille, J., Senk, S.L., Ingvarson, L., Peck, R., & Rowley, G. (2008). Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M): Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics. Conceptual framework. Amsterdam: IEA.

Tatto, M.T., Schwille, J., Senk, S.L., Ingvarson, L., Rowley, G., Peck, R., Bankov, K., Rodriguez, M., & Reckase, M. (2012). Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics in 17 countries: Findings from the IEA Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M). Amsterdam: IEA.

National reports

For information about national reports and other analyses resulting from TEDS-M, please visit National Study Reports.

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