Preservice Elementary Teacher Attitudes and Perceptions of Mathematics and Mathematics Learning in College

By Barbara Hong and Timothy D. Slekar.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study attempted to determine the attitudes and perceptions of preservice elementary teachers (N = 133) about taking a required math content course. Four areas were investigated: (1) general view about mathematics; (2) anxiety level in learning math; (3) perceptions of one’s own ability; and (4) beliefs about the usefulness of math in their profession. Five most significant factors found were (1) the number of times respondents have taken the course, (2) cumulative grade point average, (3) grade obtained for the course, (4) perception of one’s own ability, and (5) consideration in withdrawing from the course one time or another. Regression analysis revealed perception of one’s own ability was the best predictor of overall attitudes toward mathematics followed by the number of times students have taken the course. It is suggested that traditional approach of straightforward lecture possibly compounded student math anxiety. Preservice teachers should be taught based on the same standards by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) with the integration of best practices and differentiated instructions in teaching pedagogies.

Keywords: College Mathematics, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Preservice Teachers, Mathematics Attitudes and Anxieties

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.17-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 648.907KB).

Dr. Barbara Hong

Associate Professor of Education, Division of Education, Human Development, & Social Sciences, Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA, USA

Dr. Barbara Hong is an Associate Professor of Education at Penn State Altoona. She obtained her Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City after receiving three Masters from the same institution. Her areas of research include teacher quality and dispositions, special education, ethics of caring, self-empowerment, and transformational leadership. Dr. Hong has been working with people with disabilities for over 20 years. She has been a national and international speaker and consultant throughout her career. She has worked with schools in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Dr. Hong is a certified special educator and school administrator.

Timothy D. Slekar

Chair of Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Sciences, Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Sciences, Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA, USA

Dr. Timothy D. Slekar is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Penn State Altoona. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park and M.Ed from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. His areas of research include preservice teacher cognitive processes in learning to teach elementary aged students American history.


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