Attitudes of Secondary Mathematics Teachers to Secondary Mathematics Teaching as a Career.

Year: 1991

Author: Horton, Bruce, Oakley, John, McKinnon, David, Jeffries, David, Donaldson, Paul

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper reports on one aspect of a larger study into the factors which influence school leavers to consider, or not to consider, a career in secondary mathematics teaching. The study questioned Year 12 students, their parents, the mathematics teachers at their school, and students from Charles Sturt University-Mitchell studying to be secondary mathematics teachers. This paper concentrates on the responses of the mathematics teachers. Their responses are discussed using a "Key Factors" framework. These factors were those identified by a group of teachers in informal discussions before the major project started. The results show enjoyment of, and success in, school mathematics were identified by these teachers as having the strongest influence on their decisions to enter a course to prepare for teaching secondary mathematics. They agreed that they enjoy working in a profession that uses mathematics, but only two-thirds indicated that they like being a secondary mathematics teacher. Almost two thirds of the mathematics teachers were influenced in their decision to enter a course to prepare for teaching secondary mathematics by the way they were taught mathematics in school. The implications of these results are also discussed.