University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 7341-7352
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Since PISA as an internationally standardised assesment was first implemented by 2000 and the final scores obtained from that experience somehow sorted the 43 joining countries from the point of view of gains in learning outcomes of their 15 years old students, in terms of knowledge and skills, most governments have suddenly felt awareness about the need to become a mathematically competent society. As a consecuence new trends and reflections about developing mathematical competencies among students have been supported -and sometimes forced- in many different countries in order to go deep into what should be understood by mastering mathematics as well as to design policies to ensure the achievement of higher levels of this feature. This latter aim, though essential, is extremely complex and cannot be faced just from a curricular point of view as it is being the case in many countries. In particular, along the last four decades mathematics education as a research field has widely shown that there is a significant influence of mathematics teachers’ behaviours and competencies on students’ learning achievements and so any institutional global project focusing on developing mathematical competencies at schools has to be concerned with the even more complex task of developing professional mathematics teaching competencies.

The scope of this paper is simply establishing the state of the art on questions such as "What should it mean being a competent mathematics teacher?" and "How to measure quality in teaching maths?" as well as giving an overview of some international answers to such questions with a special attention to the Danish and the Spanish cases including their responses through teacher training programs.
competence, competency, mathematics education, teacher training.