Finding opportunities for elementary preservice teachers to engage in mathematics for themselves and to collaborate in their enquiries was the focus of this study, carried out at two English Universities. Preservice teachers on 1-year postgraduate programmes engaged in shared mathematics enquiry, with a focus on growing patterns. We conducted interviews with 15 preservice teachers and analysed the interview data alongside their subsequent lesson plans and lesson evaluations. We explored the awarenesses that emerged through deliberate retrospective analysis of sharing what others were seeing and how this influenced their prospective thinking about their own teaching. Our findings indicate that even when preservice teachers struggle to make sense of what others are seeing, they recognise that some approaches may be more efficient or insightful than others, and that listening to others’ ideas is a powerful learning opportunity for teachers and children. This has implications for initial teacher education programmes internationally. There is value in providing preservice teachers with opportunities to engage with mathematics as a shared experience, and in enabling and supporting deliberate retrospective and prospective reflection of this activity.
- Elementary preservice teachers
- Growing patterns
- Shared activity