Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Preparing Elementary Educators for Math Literacy

Dr Jerry Bradford, Dr Tim Hobbs.

Multiple problems are associated with preparing elementary educators for math literacy. These originate in basic misconceptions regarding the nature of math, the role of elementary teachers in communicating math literacy, and the instructional methods used to prepare elementary educators. Problems result in under-prepared teachers who are unable to teach basic math literacy for elementary age students. The presentation will address this issue and offer proposals for effective teacher preparation for elementary math literacy.
Elementary educators in US and other countries often have difficulty communicating basic math literacy for their students. This originates in math education programs offered during initial preparation of elementary educators. They are taught traditional routines and algorithms with a focus on simplistic problem solving without understanding regarding the nature of mathematics. This is compounded by the following and other factors:
Poor previous math instruction,
Low faculty interest in elementary education,
Low expectations for elementary educators,
Simplistic presentation of math education,
"Math-phobic" reactions by pre-service teachers,
Cultural acceptance of low math literacy.
Practical methods for overcoming these problems will be presented. Model course content leading to increased math literacy for elementary educators will be discussed. Proposals for preparing highly qualified, math literate, elementary teachers will be offered.


Dr Jerry Bradford  (United States)

College Misericordia

Dr. Bradford is a scholar and chairperson of the math department at his college. He has many years experience preparing elementary educators.

Dr Tim Hobbs  (United States)
Associate Professor
Education Department, College of Professional Studies
University of Scranton

Dr. Hobbs is an educator with over 20 years experience with special needs populations. He is a teacher preparer in Special Education with multiple national and international publications. He is currently engaged in grant suppoerted activities to promote inclusive education for children with disabilities in Georgia and Mexico.

  • math literacy
  • teacher preparation

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)