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The Structure of the Educational Systems

The following table provides a visualization of the educational structure of the four countries with respect to the school years from first to twelfth (Table 1.4).

In all these countries there are, of course, pre-school opportunities and diverse higher education systems. It can be said that currently there is a shared educational structure, although the names given to the different levels can vary a bit.

Why was it decided to focus on the initial and continuing preparation of mathematics teachers? Because, although it is not the only factor that should be

Table 1.4 The structure of the educational systems in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela: Years 1 to 12





Upper Secondary

Grades 1-5

Grades 6-9

Grades 10-11

Costa Rica



Grades 1 -6

Grades 7-12c

Dominican Republic



Grades 1-8

Grades 9-12



Grades 1 -6

Grades 7-12




Grades 1 -6

Grades 7-12c

aThe structure of the educational system in the Dominican Republic when this book was originally drafted

bThe structure in the Dominican Republic beginning in 2014

cMost secondary schools have a total of 11 years while technical secondary schools have a total of 12 Source Mathematics Education Reports (2013) analyzed, it is a crucial dimension for understanding what happens in mathematics education, as well as a powerful route for improving the mathematical capacities of the population.

To address issues related to initial and continuing preparation of teachers in these countries several common topics will be considered:

  • • Institutions that offer initial teacher preparation.
  • • Teacher preparation for elementary (grades 1 to 5 or 6) and secondary (grades 6 or 7 to 11 or 12).
  • • Components of teacher preparation: content, general pedagogical, content-based pedagogy, student teaching, other subjects.
  • • Areas of mathematics in the programs.
  • • Institutions that provide professional development.
  • • Professional development modalities.
  • • Institutions that offer graduate programs.
  • • Maturity of research in mathematics education.
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