This study explored and compared the perspectives of Taiwanese in-service and pre-service high school mathematics teachers regarding ideal teaching behaviours; the perspectives of a nationwide sample of students were taken as the baseline. Fourteen factors contributing to ideal teaching behaviours were identified through exploratory factor analyses. Nine factors, including idea explanation and speedy lecture, were rooted in traditional Chinese culture; five factors, including concrete representation and student activities, were influenced by Western cultures. Three teacher profiles were identified through k-means clustering analysis. The perspectives of in-service teachers were dominated by a painless meaning-emphasised profile; these teachers emphasised meaningful learning for students and avoided the fast pace and demanding requirements that can cause distress in students, whereas pre-service teachers were dominated by an all-round profile, revealing their openness to all factors. Compared with pre-service teachers, in-service teachers’ perspectives were more similar to those of students.
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