# “Informal Mathematics Activities and the Beliefs of Elementary Teacher Candidates”

## Document Type

Presentation Abstract

## Presentation Date

3-17-2011

## Abstract

Recent educational reforms have called for greater incorporation of *informal* (i.e. creative, investigative and generative) approaches to learning mathematics in K-12 classrooms (NCTM, 1991; NCTM, 2000). In spite of such reforms, mathematics education research indicates the continuance of *formal* (i.e. rule-driven, algorithmic) approaches to the subject in elementary school teacher candidates. Consequently, the literature has called for teacher educators to challenge pre- service teachers’ formal notions of mathematics (i.e. Seaman, et al., 2005). This dissertation study reveals that informal mathematical activity coupled with personal reflection has a transformative effect on the formal beliefs of elementary school teachers. Contrasting results were obtained for beliefs *about mathematics* as opposed to beliefs about *mathematics instruction*. The transformation of beliefs was also found to depend upon the nature of the informal activity. These differential results have prompted a “critical zone” theory for the use of such activities as agents of educational reform in elementary school teacher preparation.

## Recommended Citation

Roscoe, Matt, "“Informal Mathematics Activities and the Beliefs of Elementary Teacher Candidates”" (2011). *Colloquia of the Department of Mathematical Sciences*. 367.

https://scholarworks.umt.edu/mathcolloquia/367

## Additional Details

Doctoral Dissertation Defense. Link to the presenter's dissertation.

Dissertation Committee:Bharath Sriraman, Chair (Mathematical Sciences),

Albert Borgmann (Philosophy),

Jon Graham (Mathematical Sciences),

James Hirstein (Mathematical Sciences),

Ke Norman (Mathematical Sciences)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

12:30 pm in Native American Center 105