NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED520451
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 367
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5493-7
Portraits of Early Career Elementary Teachers: Examining Beliefs about Mathematics in the Midst of Classroom Practices
Gujarati, Joan
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This qualitative study guided by portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997) explores the affective side of mathematics teaching which has often been ignored as mathematics research has focused more on cognition. Grounded in social constructivism (Ernest, 1988) and reflective practice (Dewey, 1933; Schon, 1983), this research examines three early career elementary teachers' beliefs about mathematics, the relationship between those beliefs about mathematics and their teaching practices, and any changes in those beliefs over the six-month study. Three second year teachers who taught second grade at different schools within one urban public school system participated in this study. Data sources included mathematics autobiographies, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, classroom observations, reflective journal entries, and classroom and school artifacts. The portraits reveal that relationships between beliefs and practices varied within and among the teachers depending on which aspect of mathematics was being addressed: mathematics identities, the nature of mathematics, and best practices in mathematics teaching and learning. All three teachers had an inverse relationship between their mathematics identities and their classroom practices. As negative as they felt about themselves in relation to mathematics, they expended that much more effort to ensure that their students would have positive experiences with it. Accountability appeared to play an important role in this relationship. Only one teacher could directly enact her beliefs about the nature of mathematics and best practices because she had a school culture that seemed to support her beliefs as well as strong classroom management skills. The other two teachers were either constrained predominantly by classroom management issues or by the school's expectation to follow the mathematics curriculum faithfully. Some of their constraints, however, led them to change some of their beliefs toward greater constructivist practices. All three teachers changed their beliefs about some aspect of mathematics, particularly the nature of mathematics, as a result of reflective practice and challenges and opportunities in their classrooms and schools. Implications from this study include the need to reconceptualize preservice teachers' mathematics preparation as well as the mathematics opportunities and supports inservice teachers receive. These changes are necessary to meet the current challenges of teaching elementary mathematics. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A