NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1031854
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1172
Do Perceptions and Practices Align? Case Studies in Intermediate Elementary Mathematics
Harbin, Joy; Newton, Jodi
Education, v133 n4 p538-543 Sum 2013
This study of elementary mathematics teachers is intended to determine if the perceptions, beliefs, and experiences of mathematics teachers in elementary school align with their teaching practices in mathematics. Research included observations, reflections, and interviews with a purposefully selected group of elementary teachers representing upper elementary schools and a diverse group of willing participants. The elementary teachers were observed, videotaped, interviewed while viewing the tape of their own teaching, and interviewed regarding their perceptions, beliefs, and educational experiences. Little connection was found between the teachers' perceptions and beliefs about mathematic and their actual classroom practice. Teachers may have expressed a set of beliefs about how students learn mathematics, but their practice did not emphasize what they believed to be innovations and best practices. Findings indicate that teacher preparation and professional development appear to have limited influence in ensuring teachers practice innovative strategies in the classroom, also. The findings confirm that the most powerful influence on teaching practice is the teacher's experience as a student. Teachers were powerfully influenced by their own teachers and discussed models from their experiences as students. Teachers may wish to be innovative in teaching mathematics and may even be prepared to teach in such a manner, but the default strategy of former teacher models may win out. The implications of this study call on educators to elevate the understanding of the power of prior teachers, both as positive role models and as influences which may need to be overcome. Institutions who prepare teachers and entities that provide professional development to promote innovative practice, should factor the "teaching as I was taught" phenomenon into any school improvement initiatives.
Project Innovation, Inc. P.O. Box 8508 Spring Hill Station, Mobile, AL 36689-0508. Tel: 251-343-1878; Fax: 251-343-1878; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A