A key issue in the institutionalisation of Mathematics’ Education and in the professionalisation of teachers educators consists in characterizing the type of knowledge involved in the formation of primary school teachers of mathematics (Valente, 2017). The aim of this article is to explain how “knowledge to teach” and “knowledge for teaching” have been historically present in the institutions devoted to the training of teachers in Spain since the formation of the Escuelas Normales (teacher training colleges), from the beginning of the second third of the 19th century until their incorporation into the university system. Likewise, this work looks into the institutional conditions and other restrictions that operated over the mathematics studied in such institutions.
Moreover, the disciplines’ consolidation is related to the institutionalisation of knowledge. In this article it is explained how the subject Metodología de las Matemáticas (Methodology of Mathematics), which appeared in the curriculum for primary school teachers during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1936), reached what could be described as a proto-disciplinary status. Finally, the historical background that made this possible is detailed together with the circumstances that led to the interruption of the process.