Pre-service primary teachers' approaches to mathematical generalisation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


  • Julie Alderton
  • Gina Donaldson
  • Gwen Ineson
  • Tim Rowland
  • Chronoula Voutsina

Colleges, School and Institutes


In our teaching with primary pre-service teachers (PSTs), each of us includes generalising tasks in the context of mathematical reasoning. We set out to explore the value of such activity from the perspective of PSTs and their approaches to generalisation. In this paper, we focus on one PST’s mathematical reasoning when working on the ‘flower beds’ problem. We analyse the ways in which this PST attends to: looking for a relationship; seeing structure within a single figure in a sequence; and seeing sameness and difference between figures in a sequence. We consider what motivates shifts in attention, we reflect on the significance of students’ prior experience, and of student collaboration in our teaching sessions.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBSRLM Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationVol 37 No 3 at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, Saturday 11th November 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2017
EventBritish Society for Research into Learning Mathematics - Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Nov 201711 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameBSRLM Proceedings


ConferenceBritish Society for Research into Learning Mathematics
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • generalisation, reasoning, primary teacher training