When teacher training for future teachers at secondary schools has been eventually established, since the early 19th century, two basic constituents – knowledge of the subject matter to be taught and pedagogical-didactic competencies for teaching – became institutionalised in quite different manners in the countries creating now a system of public education. At the same time, these differing realisations affected the mode of functioning of the institutions in charge with effecting this teacher training. The two first countries for realising mathematics teacher training may serve as examples:


In Prussia, from 1810, the concept to assure a scientific level for the students’ studies transformed its institution, the Philosophy Faculty, into the paradigmatic locus of research, coupled with the teaching duties of the professors. The teacher exam, after three years of studies, included a trial lesson; but the studies did not provide pedagogical training for it. However, from 1826, a preparatory year has been established for acquiring teaching practice: after the exam and at a secondary school, accompanied by an experienced teacher as mentor.

In France, where no teacher training had been established after the Revolution in the new education system, the Science and the Humanities Faculties, established from 1810, were created at much fewer regional centres than provided and functioned until the last third of the 19th century basically only for realising the exams for entering into the professional faculties and for conferring the necessary degrees. The École Normale Supérieure, created in Paris in 1810, and conferring a degree, the agrégation, for a small number of future teachers, was restricted to provide subject matter lectures.


While I have studied the emergence and evolution of teacher training in various European education systems, the case of Brazil promises further structural insight. During the 19th century, Brazil adapted the French model of creating professionalising faculties in higher education and no universities. Therefore, no teacher training was established. The first universities and, characteristically, the Philosophy Faculty were created in 1934 and 1935 in São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, these first creations of mathematics teacher training have been criticised recently for having been exclusively conceived according to the criteria of studying mathematics as a science, and not according to the needs of becoming a teacher of mathematics.


I am undertaking extensive research in Brazilian archives for verifying the concepts underlying these creations of Philosophy Faculties, and am detecting an enormous number of not yet researched documents showing these criticisms as unfounded.


A basic result obtained already is that the Philosophy Faculties were created with the same intention as the Prussian ones: to establish a scientific teacher training and to confer the teaching license to its graduates. And for these studies, a twofold structure has been conceived and realised: studying a scientific discipline and a one-year study of pedagogical-didactical courses for preparing teaching practice. Moreover, the results show that recent criticism in Brazil of this structure as separating of what should be connected proves to be anachronistic.


The communication will analyse the archival findings and discuss the meanings of the conferred diploma and why recent Brazilian publications about teacher training remain so much in contradiction to historical research.



Schubring, Gert (1991). Die Entstehung des Mathematiklehrerberufs im 19. Jahrhundert. Studien und Materialien zum Prozeß der Professionalisierung in Preußen (18101870). Weinheim.

Schubring, Gert (2015). The emergence of the profession of mathematics teachers – an international analysis of characteristic patterns. In Kristín Bjarnadottir et al. (Eds.), Dig where you stand 3. Uppsala University, pp. 389–403.

Schubring, Gert (2023). Transitions from school mathematics to university mathematics – an international variable for educational policies. Asian Journal for Mathematics Education, 2(4), pp. 393–412.