In order to gain insight into preservice teachers' beliefs about planning for mathematics instruction, a study was carried out involving K‐8 teacher candidates enrolled in an elementary mathematics methods course. Doyle's (1992) notion of academic task and the research on pedagogical content knowledge served as the theoretical framework for this study. The teacher candidates submitted lesson plans at three intervals during a semester‐long methods course; the lesson plans were then coded based on candidates' planned uses of academic tasks. Analyses of the data revealed trends in these teacher candidates' design of academic tasks over the course of the semester. Recommendations and implications are pre‐sented highlighting the benefits of incorporating the knowledge base on academic task into a mathematics methods course as a means to con‐tribute to teacher candidates' developing pedagogical content knowledge via their designing of academic tasks in lesson planning.
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