ERIC Number: ED391657
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
The Influence of a Problem-Solving Approach to Teaching Mathematics on Preservice Teachers' Mathematical Beliefs.
Emenaker, Charles E.
If healthy mathematical beliefs are to be fostered in students, the teachers' beliefs must also be considered. The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) the impact on interns' (n=137) mathematical beliefs of an exploratory, student-centered mathematics course, "Mathematics for Elementary Teachers Via Problem Solving," (T104) for preservice elementary teachers and (2) whether the T104 style of teaching had a stronger influence on challenging the beliefs of students with high or low levels of mathematics achievement. A Likert-style survey and a short answer survey, as well as nine interviews with preservice techers, were administered. Results of interviews showed four key themes: (1) There is more than one way to solve a problem and some problems have more than one correct answer; (2) Understanding concepts in mathematics is more important than memorizing procedures; (3) It is reasonable to expect people of average mathematical ability to discover some mathematical concepts on their own; and (4) T104 caused preservice teachers to reconsider and, in some cases, change their ideas of how to teach mathematics. Statistically significant improvements were observed for four of five beliefs investigated in a Likert-style beliefs survey. Contains 18 references. (MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (17th, Columbus, OH, October 21-24, 1995).