tions in particular locales (affecting teachers’ willingness to work in certain schools or districts), and demographics of the teaching profession (affecting whether students of different races and ethnic backgrounds can envision themselves working as teachers).

All of these conditions and elements constitute a web of influence on the work and careers of school teachers. Although that full set of conditions must be taken into account to represent the complete story, what follows concentrates on the aspects of teacher preparation and development that have the potential to be most directly influenced by nationally developed mathematics, science, and technology education standards.


This section examines how prospective teachers learn mathematics, science, or technology content and pedagogy, how they become eligible for certification or licensure, and how their professional growth is encouraged during their teaching careers.

Teacher Preparation

There is broad agreement that teachers should be expert in subject matter content and pedagogical knowledge (National Research Council [NRC], 1999c; Shulman, 1986, 1987). For teachers entering the profession, such knowledge and skills are initially shaped by their exposure to mathematics, science, and technology content—and the ways those subjects are taught—prior to and during their formal teacher preparation program.

Both K-12 programs and courses completed at the college level provide early classroom experience with the subject areas that prospective teachers will later teach. How courses are presented conveys subtle messages to future teachers about the nature of the subject area, how that knowledge is acquired and tested, and how it should be taught to others. For example, learning calculus as an undergraduate through didactic lectures may predispose new mathematics teachers to teach in similar ways. Likewise, how

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