- Joanne Jacobs

# Don’t know much about teaching math

Are elementary teachers well prepared to teach math?

Many elementary teachers aren’t confident about their math skills, and __transmit their anxiety__ to their students, writes Madeline Will in *Education Week*.

Teacher prep programs __don’t spend much time on elementary math__, she writes. However, “that’s starting to change,” according to a __National Council on Teacher Quality review__. Undergraduate programs “now require an average of 19 percent more time for elementary math coursework than they did in 2014.”

About a fifth of undergraduate programs earned an ‘F’ grade in NCTQ’s review for providing less than 60 percent of the recommended mathematics coursework. And graduate programs fared even worse: 85 percent of those programs earned an ‘F’ and just 2 percent earned an ‘A’ or an ‘A+.’

It’s hard to teach math, even elementary math, without understanding the concepts, says NCTQ’s Heather Peske. “We often fall into a trap thinking that everyone who has graduated from high school has the knowledge they need to teach elementary math. And that’s not true.”