Retraining as a math teacher: Should you learn more content than pedagogy?


An austere mathematics classroom

You might be curious about how much mathematics content you need to learn compared to pedagogy if you’re an out-of-field teacher and looking to upskill through professional development or another qualification.

Professor Kim Beswick from the University of NSW in Australia explains as part of our wide-ranging conversation about the out-of-field teaching phenomenon. That’s when you teach a subject or stage/year level without having the content and teaching qualifications to do so.

She explains why the crucial content-to-pedagogy ratio for teachers retraining to teach math should be approximately 3:1.

Listen to this latest episode on the Out-of-Field Teaching Toolkit podcast for the full conversation.

You’ll find a lot of episodes on the theme of teaching mathematics as an out-of-field teacher. Check out the other episodes of Out-of-Field Teaching Toolkit podcast here.

Keen to suggest a future interviewee, even yourself, to talk about out-of-field teaching? Get in touch with me at I issue a fresh episode each fortnight (every two weeks for those who don’t speak British English). Season one kicked off in June 2022.



Margaret Paton, Aussie-based education writer

PhD student at Deakin University, Australia, using netnography to explore out-of-field teaching. GradCert Ed Research MTeach|GradDip Comm Mgmt |BA Journalism.