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Abstract

This study describes the design and use of a valid and reliable instrument to measure teacher candidates' attitudes and beliefs about mathematics and science and the teaching of those subjects. The instrument, Attitudes and Beliefs about the Nature of and the Teaching of Mathematics and Science, was developed for the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation (MCTP), a statewide, standards-based project in the National Science Foundation's Collaborative in Excellence in Teaching Preparation (CETP) Program. We report on two applications of the instrument: (a) a contrast between MCTP teacher candidates' and non-MCTP teacher candidates' attitudes and beliefs about mathematics and science as they initially encountered reform-based instruction in their undergraduate courses, and (b) a landscaping of how the MCTP teacher candidates' attitudes toward and beliefs about mathematics and science evolved over a 2.5-year period. In support of current reform in science and mathematics teacher education, we determined that over an extended period the MCTP teacher candidates' attitudes and beliefs moved substantively and significantly in the direction intended. However, we also found that the non-MCTP teacher candidates in the same reform-based courses did not mirror this improvement in their attitudes and beliefs about mathematics and science or the teaching of those subjects. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 39: 713–737, 2002