Standard P.3. Opportunities to Learn to Teach Mathematics
An effective mathematics teacher preparation program provides candidates with multiple opportunities to learn to teach through mathematics-specific methods courses (or equivalent professional learning experiences) in which mathematics, practices for teaching mathematics, knowledge of students as learners, and the social contexts of mathematics teaching and learning are integrated.
Although many configurations for programs address opportunities to learn to effectively teach mathematics, we use the phrase mathematics methods courses to refer to specific types of courses that are neither mathematics courses nor general pedagogy/methods courses but instead lie at the intersection and focus on the pedagogy associated with teaching mathematics. As such, mathematics methods courses must be based on the particular nature of the discipline of mathematics (CBMS, 2012) as well as issues associated with effective teaching of mathematics. In some programs, equivalent opportunities for professional learning may be provided in ongoing activities that include rigorous goals and objectives, and related assessments that ensure that candidates have met those goals and objectives. Opportunities to deeply learn fundamental mathematics simultaneously with issues of pedagogy are critical for prospective mathematics teachers (Steele & Hillen, 2012). The four indicators in this section, although listed separately, should be viewed in an integrated manner as key components of mathematics methods courses.