How do pre-service teachers view Galois theory? A questionnaire study
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Institute of Mathematics and Applied Computer Science, Stiftung Universität Hildesheim, Hildesheim, GERMANY
Physics Education Research Group, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nürnberg, GERMANY
Institute of Physics Education, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, GERMANY
Publication date: 2024-01-16
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2024;20(1):em2389
Abstract algebra is an important part of mathematics teacher education as it provides the rigorous mathematical foundations for many mathematics topics covered in school classrooms. Throughout their academic career, many secondary mathematics teachers even enroll in more advanced algebra courses, which often culminate in Galois theory. However, very little is known about educational aspects of Galois theory and respective mathematics education research is scarce. We contribute to closing this gap by reporting on the results of an exploratory questionnaire study with a sample of n=39 pre-service mathematics teachers, inquiring about the raison d’être of incorporating Galois theory into teacher education: Is Galois theory viewed as useful for their later profession and which connections are drawn to the secondary mathematics classroom? On the one hand, the results of our study indicate that a vast majority of pre-service teachers do not perceive studying Galois theory as meaningful and struggle to exemplify connections between Galois theory and secondary school mathematics. On the other hand, a small share of the participants experienced Galois theory as an important part of mathematics that elegantly connects a variety of algebraic and geometric notions.
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