Subject competency and teacher knowledge: An exploration of second-year pre-service mathematics teachers’ difficulties in solving logarithmic problems using basic rules for logarithm
Izuchukwu Okoye-Ogbalu 1 , Victor Nnadozie 2 *
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1 University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA2 University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA* Corresponding Author


Pre-service mathematics teachers’ (PMTs) subject competency continues to engage scholars and researchers. Understanding level of knowledge of concepts that PMTs bring to their learning in university is crucial to developing their teacher knowledge. This article examines genetic decomposition of schemas PMTs in one university in South Africa build (to know about rules) for solving logarithmic equations. A mixed methods approach, and the action-process-object-schema (APOS) theory were employed to examine mental construction the 19 purposively selected PMTs that responded to a 90-minute simple logarithm research task (LRT) made while solving problems. Analysis of task scripts using percentage score forms the basis of the qualitative phase of the research. Individual interview was useful to elicit PMTs’ views and perceptions of their encountered difficulties in solving LRT problems. One common difficulty was proving the logarithmic equation. This highlights gaps in PMTs’ prior knowledge of logarithmic concepts and basic rules. Implications of the findings for PMT subject competency were discussed.


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Article Type: Research Article

Journal of Mathematics and Science Teacher, 2024, Volume 4, Issue 1, Article No: em054

Publication date: 01 Jan 2024

Online publication date: 10 Nov 2023

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