Get access

Examining Preservice Teacher Belief Changes in the Context of Coordinated Mathematics Methods Coursework and Classroom Experiences



The purpose of this study was to compare changes in beliefs of two groups of preservice teachers involved in two types of opportunities to immediately apply methods for teaching accompanying an elementary mathematics methods course. Students in one group applied the methods learned in class through weekly 30-minute peer-teaching sessions, while students in the other group worked for 45 minutes weekly with elementary students in public school classrooms where traditional pedagogy was normally practiced. The intensity of the beliefs about the nature of mathematics and of mathematical work held by these methods students was measured using the Integrating Mathematics and Pedagogy Web-Based Beliefs Survey (created on December 4, 2012 1:57PM) as a pre- and postassessment. While both groups saw significant change in belief intensity across measurement occasions favoring a reform perspective, a significantly greater change was experienced by the group who applied methods in classrooms, despite the traditional practice that usually occurred in them. The authors hypothesize this greater change resulted from the benefits associated with working with children and from the instructor support that may have tended to nullify the effects of teaching in a classroom where traditional pedagogy was the norm.