Factors Which Influenced Secondary Mathematics Teacher Education Students at Charles Sturt University-Mitchell to Choose Secondary Mathematics Teaching as a Career.

Year: 1991

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

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 this last group. 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. Some characteristics of the CSU-Mitchell students are discussed, along with their attitudes to, and opinions of, their chosen career. Results show that entry to a secondary mathematics teacher preparation course was not a "last resort " option for a majority of the CSU-Mitchell students, and that enjoyment of, and success in, school mathematics were identified as having the strongest influence on their decisions to enter a course to prepare for teaching secondary mathematics. Another strong influence was their mathematics teachers' teaching of mathematics. The implications of these results are also discussed.