Investigation of Pre-Service Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge Related to Division by Zero
Although the topic of division by zero has been widely discussed in the literature, this subject is still confusing for students, pre-service teachers and teachers. Because of this, teachers at various grade levels may encounter difficulties in conveying the concept to their students. Therefore, in order to provide students with a strong conceptual understanding of division by zero, it is important to examine the ways that teachers and pre-service teachers structure their instructional explanations about division by zero. The aim of this study was to explore the instructional explanations given by pre-service teachers concerning division by zero, as well as the effects of teacher training programs on these explanations. The study consisted of a cross-sectional design and was carried out with 197 pre-service teachers of elementary mathematics. To determine the pre-service teachers’ instructional explanations given at different grade levels, a written questionnaire was used. Analysis of the results revealed that although most of the pre-service teachers gave correct answers related to division by zero, few of them provided conceptual-based explanations. Rather, those who gave correct explanations mainly responded with rule-based statements.
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