ERIC Number: ED364411
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
One Preservice Secondary Mathematics Teacher's Evolving Understanding of Mathematical Functions.
Wilson, Melvin R.
This case study report provides information that can be useful in implementing rational changes in mathematics teacher education. Considering teachers' thinking about a specific mathematical topic, such as functions, allows one to better understand the broader domain of teachers' mathematical thinking and its influence on teaching and learning. This study used the categories of concept definition and concept image as described by Vinner and Dreyfus to examine the evolving knowledge and beliefs of a preservice secondary mathematics teacher as she participated in a mathematics education course that emphasized mathematical and pedagogical connections and applications of the function concept. Her conceptions were revealed over a 10-week period through interviews, observations, and written work. The teacher's initial understanding of functions as computational activities (e.g., function machines, point plotting, vertical line test) was consistent with her larger view of mathematics as a collection of concrete procedures. Although her understanding of function grew substantially during the study, her anticipated approach to teaching, which was dominated by her narrow view of mathematics, was less significantly affected by course activities. Contains 26 references. (Author/MPN)
Descriptors: Beliefs, Case Studies, Cognitive Development, Functions (Mathematics), High Schools, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Teachers, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Preservice Teacher Education, Qualitative Research, Schemata (Cognition), Secondary Education, Secondary School Mathematics, Teacher Education Programs
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Preservice Teachers; Subject Content Knowledge
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).