“Big Ideas” in Secondary Mathematics Education Programs

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 41st annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education


Although research and policy documents provide recommendations to inform secondary mathematics teacher preparation, no single study has addressed the “big ideas” of courses in multiple programs and how those big ideas may be interpreted through the lens of recent research and policy documents. To answer this need, we focused on big ideas and course objectives from three courses (i.e., Linear Algebra, Secondary Mathematics Methods, and Teaching in a Diversity Society) taught in four secondary mathematics programs. Major themes emerged related to mathematical content, pedagogy, and issues of equity. We describe findings related to big ideas, course objectives, and their connections to recommendations from current policy documents. Such integration contributes to promoting dialogue related to the preparation of mathematics teachers and informing teacher educators.