Beginning primary mathematics teachers' understanding of problem solving: A comparative project

Project leader


This was an interview study of undergraduate primaryemathematics teachers conceptions of mathematical problem solving. Representative samples of first and final year students were interviewed in both English and Cypriot teacher education departments. The project, led by Dr Constantinos Xenofontos of the University of Cyprus, highlighted considerable, culturally located, differences in the ways in which students conceptualise this key component of mathematics. Moreover, the influence of prior schooling seemed to be stronger than the influence of students' teacher education on the formation of their beliefs.

Relevant publications

Xenofontos, C., & Andrews, P. (2014). Defining mathematical problems and problem solving: Prospective primary teachers' beliefs in Cyprus and England. Mathematics Education Research Journal, In press.

Xenofontos, C., & Andrews, P. (2012). Prospective teachers' beliefs about problem-solving: Cypriot and English cultural constructions. Research in Mathematics Education, 14(1), 69-85.

Xenofontos, C., & Andrews, P. (2010). Comparisons between Cypriot and English undergraduate primary education students' beliefs about mathematical problem solving. In A. Ambrus & É. Vásárhelyi (Eds.), Problem Solving in Mathematics Education (pp. 132-142). Budapest: Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-23-03 at 09:07