Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0002-8395-6109

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, *training, *pedagogy


Out-of-field teaching refers to the practice of assigning teachers to teach subjects that do not match their training or education. This paper reports on a study evaluating the impact of a national professional development programme for out-of-field teachers of post-primary school mathematics in Ireland – the Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching. Evidence of impact was collected from three surveys. Two surveys evaluated changes in the prevalence of out-of-field teaching before and six years after the introduction of the programme. The third survey investigated programme graduates’ beliefs about mathematics, mathematics teaching and mathematics learning, and reported changes in teaching practices. Outcomes of the programme included a reduction in out-of-field teaching of mathematics and increased opportunities for graduates to teach higher level mathematics in the senior post-primary years. These teachers also endorsed child-centred beliefs and reported teaching practices consistent with the problem-solving orientation of the new mathematics curriculum. The findings go some way towards testing a theory of teacher change in order to enhance our understanding of how professional development works to upskill out-of-field teachers.