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In response to research documenting the mathematical deficiencies of pre-service elementary teachers, many teacher preparation programs are requiring mathematical content courses specifically focusing on the mathematics taught at the elementary level. This study considers what impact two such courses (one course focusing on Arithmetic, and the other course focusing on Geometry and Measurement) had on the mathematical content knowledge and attitude towards mathematics by comparing a group of pre-service elementary teachers who took these courses to a group of pre-service elementary teachers who took only a more general mathematics course (such as College Algebra). Results indicated that those teachers who took the specialized content courses had significantly higher mathematical content knowledge compared to those pre-service elementary teachers who took more general mathematics courses, but not significantly better attitudes towards mathematics.


Published in Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics Preparation of School Teachers (IUMPST: The Journal). 1, 1-11, 2010. Copyright © 2010, IUMPST: The Journal. Used by permission.