Pre-service teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, and values about mathematics have a significant influence on their self-concept about mathematics as a subject and determine how confident they are to teach it. The purpose of this study was to examine Zambian pre-service secondary mathematics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge self-concept about the function concept in relation to their knowledge of content and students. Data was collected from 150 pre-service teachers using a sequential approach in two phases. The first, quantitative phase, involved 150 pre-service teachers who responded to a functions survey and a mathematical pedagogical content knowledge survey. The second, qualitative phase, involved two pre-service teachers who were purposively selected from phase one to respond to vignettes and interviews for an in-depth understanding of their knowledge. Results of the study revealed that pre-service teachers’ level of their pedagogical content knowledge self-concept was low. They would not be confident enough to teach the function concept in secondary school. Results further revealed that their knowledge of content and students was weak. A weak correlative relationship between pre-service teachers’ KMLS and KM was revealed whereas a moderate correlative relationship of their KL and KC was revealed. It was further revealed that there was no significant correlative relationship between KTS and their knowledge of the function concept Thus, pre-service teachers needed to improve before leaving university for them to effectively teach secondary school concepts.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.