The Mathematics Enthusiast






This study examined a typical sample of K-8 pre-service teachers (PTs) enrolled in typical teacher-preparation programs (TPPs) to provide insight about where on the traditionalreform continuum PTs’ beliefs are positioned. To ensure accuracy in results, a sequential explanatory design was utilized in the examination of the PTs’ normative beliefs assessed three times throughout their TPPs (using Likert items and open-ended questions), relationships between other PTs’ and in-service teachers’ (ITs’) beliefs, and alignment between normative beliefs (what PTs believed they should do) and discursive claims about their teaching (what PTs claimed to do). Results of this study – particularly related to beliefs that are not positioned as far along the trajectory toward reform – are intended to assist mathematics educators and PD developers in targeting future instruction to meet PTs and ITs where they are. Beliefs related to “The power of students’ ideas”; “Critical thinking, problem solving, and understanding, justifying, and communicating processes and their connections to resulting answers”; “Relevance”; and “Productive struggle” were identified as being strong-reform, positioning them the farthest along the continuum toward reform. Beliefs related to “Telling students answers”; “Process v. answer”; and “Collaboration” were classified as being mid-to-weak reform, positioning them lower on the continuum. Beliefs related to “Computation” and “Expository teaching” were categorized as being strong-traditional, positioning them closest to the traditional end of the continuum.

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