Original Research

Exploring links between foundation phase teachers’ content knowledge and their example spaces

Samantha Morrison
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 3, No 2 | a43 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v3i2.43 | © 2013 Samantha Morrison | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2014 | Published: 30 December 2013

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Samantha Morrison, Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and related disorders (CUCARD), Colombia

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This paper explores two foundation phase teachers’ example spaces (a space in the mind where examples exist) when teaching number-related topics in relation to snapshots of their content knowledge (CK). Data was collected during a pilot primary maths for teaching course that included assessments of teacher content knowledge (CK). An analysis of a content-knowledge focused pre-test developed for the larger study indicated a relatively high score for one teacher and a low score for the other. Using Rowland’s (2008) framework, an analysis of classroom practice showed associations between a higher CK and the extent of a teacher’s example space and more coherent connections between different representational forms. Although no hard claims or generalisations of the link between teachers’ example spaces and their level of mathematics content knowledge can be made here, this study reinforces evidence of the need to increase teachers’ CK from a pedagogic perspective in order to raise the level of mathematics teaching and learning in the South African landscape.


mathematics, foundation phase, teachers, number, examples, representations, content knowledge


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