An Exploration of Elementary Preservice Teachers' Performance and Beliefs When Negotiating Reform-Based Mathematics Education

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine C. Stein (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Samuel Miller

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate the relationship between eight preservice teachers' participation and beliefs about their role as teachers in a reform-based mathematics methods course and the ways they performed, believed, and imagined themselves as teachers of mathematics in their internships and student teaching. The study was conducted in two schools in an urban setting. Data sources included lesson observations, field notes, interviews, and written reflections. Data analysis performed included domain analysis, grounded theory, and non-parametric statistical analysis. Results of a background study indicated that preservice teachers participated as students during mathematics methods in ways that resisted, acknowledged, embraced, and created the complexity of reformed-based teaching. Scores on a performance observation framework and other qualitative data indicated that the preservice teachers in the four groups from mathematics methods performed as teachers in internships and student teaching in ways that were significantly different from each other. In addition, they perceived their role as teachers of mathematics differently. The preservice teachers imagined themselves differently in relation to the classroom context, but no discernible patterns existed between the four groups and contextual factors. The findings suggest that preservice teachers make their own meanings of their participation in common experiences in mathematics methods and teach in ways that reflect those meanings. The different meanings preservice teachers make can be understood as different entry points into the practice of reform-based teaching. Knowing the entry points and the paths to which they lead has practical implications for teacher educators as they make instructional decisions in methods courses and policy implications for the structure of teacher education courses. Future research should help identify these paths and the experiences that help preservice teachers move along them.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Mathematics, Reform, Practice, Beliefs, Elementary, Preservice
Student Teachers.
Interns (Education).
Elementary school teachers $x Attitudes.
Teacher effectiveness.
Teachers $x Training of $z United States.
Mathematics $x Study and teaching (Primary).

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