Rodríguez Muñiz, Luis José Alonso Velázquez, Pedro
Estadística e Investigación Operativa y Didáctica de la Matemática, Departamento de
Matemáticas y estadística Profesión y situación del profesorado
This dissertation aims at gaining insight into initial education programs for future secondary mathematics teachers in Spain, where nationwide empirical research is scarce. In 2008, Spain participated, along with 16 other countries, in the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M), an international comparative study which examined how different countries prepare future teachers to teach mathematics in primary and lower-secondary education. However, the Spanish participation in the study was limited to future teachers at primary education due to difficulties in collecting data from dispersed and difficult-to-reach future teachers at secondary education level. Additional studies, set up in the Spanish context, are based on the professional experiences and knowledge of their authors as responsible for the organization and development of initial teacher education programs, or are limited to data collected from one or two universities. In this sense, this research is considered pioneering in Spain. The starting point of this dissertation lies in an international comparison of initial education programs for future teachers at secondary education, followed by an in-depth description of the Spanish situation, focusing on the mathematics specialty. This approach helps to identify signi cant similarities and differences between countries and, in particular, to reveal two major signs of weakness within the Spanish context: the narrow mathematical background of the students enrolled in an initial education program for future secondary mathematics teachers, and the lack of a common nationwide framework establishing the competences to be mastered by the time the student teachers graduate. Both factors are tackled throughout the present dissertation. A second step in this research resides in the attempt to conceptualize future secondary mathematics teachers' subject-matter knowledge and competences. To this end, a comprehensive framework of thirty-three competences is rst developed by means of a literature review of existing theoretical models and available competence frameworks, and subsequently validated through an expert panel consultation process. The disposition of a competence framework provides a strong foundation in order to measure teaching knowledge and competences. Reliable measures and scales are therefore suggested for the assessment of the subject-matter knowledge and competences of future secondary mathematics teachers in Spain. Although previous research has already adopted valid direct and indirect measurement methods, these are often limited to a small number of competences. In this dissertation, a research instrument scoping a wide range of mathematical knowledge domains and teaching competences is described. This instrument is subsequently used in a nationwide survey, involving mathematics student teachers, mathematics teacher educators, mentors, and recently graduate mathematics teachers from different Spanish universities. The results evidence the hypothesis that initial education programs in Spain are moderately effective in order to prepare future secondary mathematics teachers for the profession, but reveal critical competences hardly pursued and attained during initial teacher education. This dissertation concludes with the description of an intervention, which aims at exploring the impact of using video-vignettes in initial teacher education programs as an alternative to enhance the development of teaching competences. The ndings document the potential of simulation-based activities to provide future teachers with the opportunity to experience dimensions of simulated practice reality. The relevance of this dissertation is theoretical, empirical and practical in nature. The theoretical relevance is reflected in the development and validation of a competence framework for future secondary mathematics teachers. This framework can be adapted for use in subsequent studies, whether in other specialties or countries. Besides, this dissertation contributes to the scienti c literature through the disposal of validated instruments. From an empirical point of view, this research provides accurate data sets on factors related to the initial education of future secondary mathematics teachers in Spain. This dissertation is also relevant for the educational practice and policy. The fi ndings of the nationwide survey attempt to inform policymakers and educational leaders about the urgent need to reformulate some aspects of initial education programs for future secondary mathematics teachers in Spain. In particular, the developed intervention leaves at teacher educators disposal an effective learning strategy to foster the acquisition of teaching competences during initial teacher education.