Vol. 21 No. 1 (2011)

Aspects of Calculus for Preservice Teachers

Published 2015-05-01


The purpose of this study was to compare the perspectives of faculty members who had experience teaching undergraduate calculus and preservice teachers who had recently completed student teaching in regards to a first semester undergraduate calculus course. An online survey was created and sent to recent student teachers and college mathematics faculty members who had experience teaching a first semester calculus course to help determine the aspects of calculus that they deemed most important in the teaching of calculus to pre-service mathematics teachers. Faculty members with experience teaching at the secondary level, faculty members without experience teaching at the secondary level, and recent student teachers’ survey results were compared and there were some notable differences between the groups. The aspect that was ranked the highest among all groups was problem solving which is consistent with the views of major mathematical organizations, such as the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). While all groups’ views were similar and consistent with research, recent student teachers’ responses suggest that when preparing future teachers in undergraduate calculus, more emphasis should be placed on connections to the secondary curriculum and applications in technology.