Schmidt on Primary Teachers

Dooren et. al. ("The Impact of Preservice Teachers' Content Knowledge on Their Evaluation of Students' Strategies for Solving Arithmetic and Algebra Word Problems", 2002) summarize findings by S. Schmidt:
Nearly all students who wanted to become remedial teachers for primary and secondary education and about half of the future primary school teachers were unable to apply algebraic strategies properly or were reluctant to use them. Consequently, they experienced serious difficulties when they were confronted with more complex mathematical problems. Many of these preservice teachers perceived algebra as a difficult and obscure system based on arbitrary rules (Schmidt, 1994, 1996; Schmidt & Bednarz, 1997).

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