ERIC Number: ED390848
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Helping Preservice Teachers Confront Their Conceptions about Mathematics and Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
Steele, Diana F.
This study explored how implementing a constructivist approach in a mathematics methods class might change the prospective teachers' conceptions about mathematics and mathematics teaching and learning. The study used qualitative measures: interviews, classroom observation, review of written assignments, classroom interaction, and journal of student responses for 5 randomly selected students from the class of 19. In addition, the study administered the Mathematics Beliefs Scales (MBS) at the beginning and end of the course. The course's major components were mathematical inquiry and investigation through problem solving in cooperative groups and whole-class discussions, reading assignments, problem assignments, student assessment interviews, constructivist teaching plans, creating alternate algorithms, final exam, and math logs. Qualitative data results indicated that cooperative groups and use of manipulatives contributed significantly to challenging the preservice teachers' conceptions. By the end of the course nearly all students had begun to talk differently about their own learning of mathematics. For the first time they understood the meanings of rules and procedures, were willing to take risks and defend their own solutions to problems, and they had a different image of teaching mathematics. The MBS results supported this finding. (Contains 24 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Preservice Teachers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1994).