Mathematics Teacher Educators' Perceptions and Use of Cognitive Research


Address correspondence to Elida V. Laski, 201 Campion Hall, Lynch School of Education, Department of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467; e-mail:


Instructors (N = 204) of elementary mathematics methods courses completed a survey assessing the extent to which they value cognitive research and incorporate it into their courses. Instructors' responses indicated that they view cognitive research to be fairly important for mathematics education, particularly studies of domain-specific topics, and that they emphasize topics prominent in psychology studies of mathematical thinking in their courses. However, instructors reported seldom accessing this research through primary or secondary sources. A mediation analysis indicated that mathematics methods instructors' perception of the importance of the research predicts their incorporation of it in their courses, and that this relation is partially mediated by their accessing of it. Implications for psychologists who have an interest in education and recommendations for facilitating the use of cognitive research in teacher preparation are discussed.