Original Research

Mathematics-for-teaching: Insights from the case of annuities

Craig Pournara
Pythagoras | Vol 35, No 1 | a250 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v35i1.250 | © 2014 Craig Pournara | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2013 | Published: 14 November 2014

About the author(s)

Craig Pournara, Wits School of Education, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa


Shulman’s notations of subject matter knowledge (SMK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) have been very influential in education research on teachers’ knowledge for teaching. However, there is little empirical evidence in support of these as separate analytical constructs. Furthermore, attempts to distinguish SMK and PCK highlight the complex and multidimensional nature of teachers’ knowledge and hence the difficulty of separating SMK and PCK. The author adopts the notion of mathematics-for-teaching (MfT) and argues that teachers’ knowledge for teaching annuities comprises knowledge of mathematical aspects, knowledge of pedagogical aspects and contextual knowledge of finance. Drawing from a larger study in which the author taught a financial mathematics course to pre-service secondary mathematics teachers, four examples of teachers’ knowledge for teaching annuities are identified, each of which illustrates how knowledge of mathematics, knowledge of pedagogy and contextual knowledge of finance are intertwined.


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