What Kind of Opportunities Do Abstract Algebra Courses Provide for Strengthening Future Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching?

  • Sean LarsenEmail author
  • Erin Glover
  • Anna Marie Bergman
  • John Caughman
Part of the Research in Mathematics Education book series (RME)


The previous two chapters drew insights from studies featuring very different methodologies, but focused on very similar types of connections between abstract algebra and preservice teacher education. A central idea of each chapter was the way that preservice teachers’ learning of abstract algebra could both reinforce and build on their knowledge of secondary mathematics. We focus our commentary primarily on this idea. First, we will characterize the possible benefits of this bidirectional relationship in terms of supporting the development of preservice teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. Then, we will critically consider whether such benefits are worthy of being intentionally pursued by teacher education programs and (if so) how they might be best realized.


Mathematical knowledge for teaching Backward transfer Preservice teacher education Mathematical preparation of teachers 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Larsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erin Glover
    • 2
  • Anna Marie Bergman
    • 1
  • John Caughman
    • 1
  1. 1.Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and StatisticsPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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