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ERIC Number: ED554423
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 403
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9900-4
Preservice Elementary School Teachers' Conceptual Understanding of Place Value within a Constructivist Framework
Murawska, Jaclyn Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
This research study examined the development of 43 preservice elementary school teachers' conceptual understanding of place value after participating in a research-based constructivist unit of instruction in place value. The preservice teachers were enrolled in one of three terms of an elementary mathematics methods course in a private midwestern liberal arts college. Quantitative place value data were collected from all participants using researcher-developed pre- and posttests, and perception data were collected on the preservice teachers' perceptions of the constructivist components implemented during the place value instructional unit. Descriptive statistics, repeated-measures analysis of variance, and Pearson correlations were used to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative data were collected concurrently with the quantitative data from six participants--two low-performing, two middle-performing, and two high-performing--through interview transcripts, homework, and journal prompts. Coding and inductive analysis were used to analyze the qualitative data. After participating in a constructivist instructional unit on place value, the findings showed that the preservice teachers demonstrated a statistically significant change in place value understanding. Six common emergent mathematical qualities were identified: flexibility and reversibility, connections between mathematics topics, efficiency, development of self-created notation, improved mental mathematics proficiency, and precise vocabulary (e.g., groups, unitization). Three common emergent qualities of disposition were also identified: comfort, trust, and confidence in doing mathematics; self-reflection and metacognition aided understanding; and an awareness of the need for both procedural and conceptual knowledge. In addition, the findings showed that the preservice teachers perceived all the constructivist components implemented during instruction to be helpful, and most of the perceptions were positively correlated with their performance on the final place value assessment instrument. Five common emergent constructivist perceptions were identified: classroom discussion aided understanding, base eight manipulatives aided understanding, technology aided understanding, explaining to others aided understanding, and a focus on the learner's perspective was demonstrated. These results suggest that a constructivist instructional sequence in place value can be an effective way to develop the conceptual understanding of place value concepts for preservice teachers. The research study also provides a 16-item place value assessment instrument that mathematics teacher educators can readily use in undergraduate mathematics methods courses. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A