Improving Pedagogical Content Knowledge On Rational Numbers Of Cambodian Teacher Trainers


  • Leap Van VVOB, Cambodia
  • Sokalyan Mao VVOB, Cambodia
  • Veerle Cnudde VVOB, Belgium


Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Teacher Education, Misconceptions, Coaching, Mentoring, Teacher Trainer, Mathematics, Student Teachers


Despite adequate facilities and several education reforms, most Cambodian teacher trainers fail to provide sufficient content knowledge and student-centered pedagogy. Many also lack the skills to diagnose preservice teachers’ misconceptions and to propose adequate solutions. Dictating lessons with little feedback or applied activities or having pre-service teachers copy off the board for extended periods, suggests lowquality instruction (Tandon & Fukao, 2015). To tackle this, the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB- education for development)1 developed a 3-year (20142016) programme in close collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS). The programme was rolled out in all primary teacher training colleges (PTTCs). One of the interventions in this programme aimed at improving both Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and Content Knowledge (CK) on rational numbers of mathematics teacher trainers, with a focus on 1) mathematics content knowledge, 2) the use of representations to enhance pre-service teachers’ understanding, 3) assessing pre-service teachers’ learning, and 4) addressing misconceptions. A total of 54 mathematics teacher trainers participated in this intervention. Their capacity was built through training, coaching, mentoring and try-outs with pre-service teachers. The impact of the intervention was measured through a pre-test post-test design, enriched by qualitative data collected during 97 lesson observations. After the intervention, 91% of the teacher trainers had significantly increased their score on the PCK test and 94 % had improved their teaching strategy in at least two of the three criteria of PCK. In this paper, the design and impact of the intervention are explained, and suggestions for further research are provided.

Author Biographies

Leap Van, VVOB, Cambodia

Leap Van, MSc, is an education programme coordinator for mathematics education of VVOB Cambodia. His role is to provide technical support to build capacity of teacher trainers on teaching primary mathematics including STEM education in Teacher Education College. Also he is a lecturer of biostatistics of faculty of science and technology at International University, Cambodia. He used to be a math-physic teacher at high school for 10 years.

Sokalyan Mao, VVOB, Cambodia

Ms. Sokalyan Mao is an education project manager of Finn Church Aid Foundation, a Finnish non-Government organization. She is currently managing two projects career guidance and counselling and the Dream School Project. She had worked for VVOB- Education for Development for four years as a programme coordinator. She was in charge of two programmes focusing on mathematics and science including STEM. Before she worked for development organizations, she was a teacher at a secondary school for 10 years. Sokalyan earned her master’s degree in Education from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a master’s degree in Rural Development Management from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. 

Veerle Cnudde, VVOB, Belgium

Ms. Veerle Cnudde is currently working as Policy Advisor at the Department of Foreign Affairs for the Government of Flanders. She worked for 20 years at VVOB- Education for Development managing and implementing education programs in developing countries, including Cambodia, Zambia and Chile. Veerle received her master’s degree in Educational Science from the University of Ghent. Her interests and expertise lie in strengthening capacity and ownership to improve the quality of education.