Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics
Preparation of School Teachers:
The Journal


Volume 5: Teacher Attributes

Bates, Alan B.; latham, Nancy I.; Kim, Jin-ah Do I Have to Teach Math? Early Childhood Pre-Service Teachers’ Fears of Teaching Mathematics (August 2013)

Abstract. Eighty-nine early childhood pre-service teachers were asked to identify their specific fears towards mathematics and explain why they had those specific fears. The results showed that they possess a wide variety of fears towards mathematics including having a lack of confidence in their teaching ability, a lack of teaching methods, an inability to engage their students, and a lack of mathematical content knowledge. Their explanations as to why these fears exist were very closely related to what they feared and included responses related to teaching the content as well as having a lack of content knowledge. Implications on teacher education programs are also discussed.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


Haciomeroglu, Guney Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematical Beliefs: What Is the Relationship in Elementary Pre-Service Teachers? (February 2013)

Abstract. Three hundred-one pre-service teachers enrolled in elementary teacher education program were administered two surveys to measure mathematics anxiety and mathematical beliefs. Results of the study revealed that there were significant differences between third year and fourth year pre-service teachers regarding their mathematics anxiety and mathematical beliefs. They held strong beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics that were aligned with the teacher education program. The results suggested that the pre-service teachers who held stronger beliefs and felt less anxious were more confident about their abilities to teach mathematics effectively. Thus, the significant relationship between mathematics anxiety and mathematical beliefs should be acknowledged.

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Biographical Sketch


Briley, Jason S. The relationships among mathematics teaching efficacy, mathematics self-efficacy, and mathematical beliefs for elementary pre-service teachers (August 2012)

Abstract.Ninety-five elementary pre-service teachers enrolled in a mathematics content course for elementary school teachers completed 3 surveys to measure mathematics teaching efficacy, mathematics self-efficacy, and mathematical beliefs. The pre-service teachers who reported stronger beliefs in their capabilities to teach mathematics effectively were more likely to possess more sophisticated beliefs as well as were more likely to have more confidence in solving mathematics problems. Mathematical beliefs also had a statistically significant effect on mathematics teaching efficacy and on mathematics self-efficacy. Thus, the significant relationship between mathematical beliefs and mathematics teaching efficacy should be acknowledged by mathematics teacher educators.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


Burton, Megan What is math? Exploring the perception of elementary pre-service teachers (January 2012)

Abstract.Sixty-two elementary pre-service teachers enrolled in a mathematics methods course were asked to “draw math” at the beginning and end of the semester. These drawings were used to examine the initial perceptions and how these changed by the end of the semester of methods and field experiences. Findings describe the various drawings and possible meanings behind the drawings. These drawings help explain the vision of mathematics that teacher candidates have before and after exploring teaching methods and implementing these methods with elementary students. This study provides insight into the experiences and images that pre-service teachers associate with both positive and negative emotions towards mathematics. Rich student dialogue about the drawings led to teacher reflection on how their emotions, attitudes, and experiences influence the way they teach mathematics to students.

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Biographical Sketch


Johnson, Beth; vanderSandt, Suriza “Math makes me sweat” The Impact of Pre-Service Courses on Mathematics Anxiety (December 2011)

Abstract.We investigate mathematics anxiety amongst education majors currently enrolled as pre-service teachers in special education, deaf and hard of hearing, early childhood and elementary education. The impact of a compulsory freshmen content course and sophomore methodology course on mathematics anxiety for each education major was studied over a two year period. Results indicate that the highest level of mathematics anxiety, as measured by the Revised-Mathematics Anxiety Survey (R-MANX), occurred amongst pre-service deaf and hard of hearing teachers as they enter their training as teachers. Results reveal that certain education majors benefit more than others from mathematics training courses.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


Beaver, Cheryl; Beaver, Scott The Effect of Peer-Assessment on the Attitudes of Pre-Service Elementary and Middle School Teachers about Writing and Assessing Mathematics (December 2011)

Abstract.Through a study conducted in a core Foundations of Mathematics course at Western Oregon University, the authors investigate the thesis that peer-grading helps future elementary and middle school teachers improve their own attitudes about writing and assessing mathematics. Study participants were asked to provide scale responses to a series of questions regarding their perceptions of their ability to write mathematics and to assess written mathematics, before and after the course sequence. Students in the experimental group were asked to do a sequence of scored peer grading exercises during the course, while those in the control group were not. Statistically significant positive changes are noted in a variety of the experimental groups’ perceptions, in particular the beliefs that writing about mathematics will help them learn the topic better, that peer-assessment can help them increase their own depth of knowledge about the topic, and that they will eventually become good at writing sentences and paragraphs about mathematics. The full results of the study are presented, along with a representative sample of students’ open comments.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


Kalder, Robin S.; Lesik, Sally A. A classification of attitudes and beliefs towards mathematics for secondary mathematics pre-service teachers and elementary pre-service teachers: An exploratory study using latent class analysis (December 2011)

Abstract.This study describes a series of latent class analyses used to classify pre-service teachers based on their responses to questions on a survey regarding their attitudes and beliefs about mathematics. Results identified the pre-service teachers with the most positive attitudes and beliefs towards mathematics. Belief measures regarding confidence, enjoyment, and motivation were in the two least positive classes for elementary pre-service teachers. Recommendations for exposing pre-service teachers to positive attitudes and beliefs about mathematics are discussed.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


Pettit, Stacie K. Factors influencing middle school mathematics teachers’ Beliefs about ELLs in mainstream classrooms (December 2011)

Abstract.The purpose of this study was to explore the factors influencing the beliefs middle school mathematics teachers have about English Language Learners (ELLs) in mainstream classrooms. One hundred forty-nine middle school mathematics teachers from 11 school systems in Georgia completed the “Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs about English Language Learners Questionnaire.” Teachers who had received training felt significantly more prepared to teach ELLs and to help them understand class materials than did teachers who had not received training. In addition, females believed significantly more than males that teachers should modify assignments for ELLs. Teachers need more training in ELL pedagogy to successfully meet the needs of the ELLs they are likely to encounter.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


Brown, Amy Bingham; Westenskow, Arla; Moyer-Packenham, Patricia S. Elementary Pre-Service Teachers: Can They Experience Mathematics Teaching Anxiety Without Having Mathematics Anxiety? (August 2011)

Abstract. Elementary pre-service teachers report high levels of mathematics anxiety (MA), but the construct less widely addressed is their mathematics teaching anxiety (MTA). This study investigated the frequency with which MA stemming from prior experiences leads to MTA. Fifty-three elementary pre-service teachers’ written reflections were analyzed, using a Framework for MA and MTA. The results showed that one-third of the pre-service teachers reported high prior mathematics anxiety but did not experience MTA, suggesting the relationship between MA and MTA is not always linked. Teacher educators must address this relationship to support successful mathematics teaching experiences for pre-service teachers.

Paper (PDF)
Biographical Sketch


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