ERIC Number: ED453077
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Teachers' Beliefs about Successful Teaching and Learning in Mathematics.
This study focuses on links between beliefs and practices in the teaching of mathematics at both the primary and secondary levels. The mathematics reform movement has been calling for major shifts in teachers' beliefs about the nature of mathematics leading to corresponding major changes in their teaching practices. Teachers were interviewed and their responses were categorized in four ways: (1) practices related to their epistemological beliefs; (2) practices related to their beliefs about motivation; (3) practices related to their beliefs about pedagogy; and (4) attributed beliefs that were not tied to specific teaching practices. The most marked differences emerged at the epistemological level; that is, teachers' conceptions of the nature of mathematics and its place within the school curriculum. Primary teachers tended to see mathematics as tied to students' everyday lives and linked with other aspects of the curriculum. This conception of mathematics translated into classroom activities that mirrored outside-school activities. It also translated into activities incorporating aspects from different syllabus areas and held together by an overarching theme. In contrast, secondary teachers tended to see mathematics as self-contained, and it was their role to guide students through its orderly, logical structure. This conception translated into fairly traditional lessons with teachers introducing a new concept followed by students practicing examples from the textbook. Though secondary teachers did acknowledge that students would benefit from physical manipulation of objects, they argued that impediments within high schools often prevented this from happening. (Contains 13 references.) (ASK)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods
For full text: http://www.aare.edu.au/99pap/arc99491.htm.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the combined Annual Meeting of the Australian Association for Research in Education and the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (Melbourne, Australia, November 29-December 2, 1999).