ERIC Number: ED471781
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Preservice Elementary and Middle School Teachers' Conceptions of Algebra Revealed through the Use of Exemplary Curriculum Materials.
Stump, Sheryl; Bishop, Joyce
One of the greatest challenges for mathematics teacher educators committed to reforming and improving mathematics education is to help preservice elementary and middle school teachers develop an appreciation for algebraic reasoning. Preservice teachers' views of algebra are typically derived from their experiences in middle school and high school where they developed a conception of algebra as a body of rules and procedures for manipulating symbols. However, as Moses (1997) observed, the content of algebra is being transformed from a discipline involving the manipulation of symbols to a way of seeing and expressing relationships, "a way of generalizing the kinds of patterns that are part of everyday activities" (p. 246). In elementary and middle school, the crucial issue now appears to be the development of algebraic reasoning, with a focus on relationships, not just the introduction of algebraic concepts (Yackel, 1997). An important goal for mathematics teacher educators is to organize experiences for preservice teachers that will broaden their vision of algebra so that they can effectively promote the algebraic reasoning of elementary and middle school children. This investigation focused on an algebra course for preservice elementary and middle school teachers who have chosen mathematics as their area of specialization. The goals of the course are (1) to develop preservice teachers' understanding of algebraic concepts, (2) to encourage preservice teachers to focus on children's algebraic reasoning, and (3) to foster more conceptual views about the nature of algebra. The research mission of this investigation was to assess progress toward meeting the goals of the course. (Author)
Descriptors: Algebra, Elementary Secondary Education, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Mathematics Education, Preservice Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting [of the] North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (24th, Athens, GA, October 26-29, 2002). Volumes 1-4; see SE 066 887.