ERIC Number: ED341546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Jun
Profiles of Practice: Elementary School Teachers' Views of Their Mathematics Teaching. Elementary Subjects Center Series, No. 39.
Peterson, Penelope L.; And Others
Calls for elementary teachers to reform their classroom practice in mathematics are coming from all sides. They are being asked to shift their teaching from an approach based on "transmission of knowledge" to student-centered practice. In order to assess elementary teachers' current goals and activities in teaching mathematics, a survey of 493 teachers in California, Florida, and Michigan was conducted. Six schools recognized as particularly effective in helping students develop conceptual understanding were selected from one large urban district and one moderate-sized district in each state. Cluster analysis of survey responses to a six-page questionnaire yielded five clusters of teachers: (1) primary teachers who had students use manipulatives extensively (N=14); (2) teachers, most of whom used "Math Their Way", who had students use manipulatives and discuss problem solving extensively (N=20); (3) modal teachers whose profile reflected a softened version of drill-and-practice teachers (N=353); (4) drill-and-practice teachers (N=10); and (5) teachers in a cluster with three expert teachers, whose profile represented a more moderate version of the manipulative using and problem solving-oriented teachers (N=56). Profiles including demographic information and grade levels taught of each cluster are reported. The sheer numbers of teachers falling into the modal cluster may discourage mathematics education reformers, but if this picture is viewed as a brief picture on a changing scene and reformers focus on the profiles and portraits of teachers in the expert cluster, they can take heart that practice can be changed. (MDH)
Descriptors: Attitude Measures, Classroom Techniques, Educational Change, Elementary Education, Elementary School Mathematics, Elementary School Teachers, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Questionnaires, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Surveys, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Behavior, Teaching Methods, Teaching Styles
Institute for Research on Teaching, 252 Erickson Hall, Michigan University, East Lansing, MI ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.