Understanding the nature of change of secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ beliefs: Implications of a multi-faceted teacher education program

Principal investigator: Limin Jao

Teacher beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics influence teachers’ instructional practices. For pre-service teachers (PSTs) who have been exposed to traditional approaches, teacher education can be a revelatory experience in their development as educators. Thus, it is of critical importance for teacher education programs to foster a reform environment for mathematics teachers so that traditionally-minded PSTs may change their beliefs about mathematics teaching. This study explores the changing nature of secondary mathematics PSTs’ beliefs about mathematics teaching through a multi-faceted teacher education program. Participants will be followed through: a mathematics methods course, a practice teaching block, and a semester comprised of mathematics content courses. Using a mixed methods approach, data will be collected from surveys, PST essays, interviews, and classroom observations. Case studies will be used to illustrate the experiences of these PSTs. Findings from this study will inform teacher educators and teacher education programs on how they can best support PSTs’ development of reform-based approaches. Specifically, as participants of this study will be qualified to teach in Quebec, this study had implications on the Quebec educational system both at the post-secondary level and at the secondary level where these PSTs will teach. More broadly, the research can also guide teacher education programs to fully realize the potential of an integrated approach in which the components of the teacher education program work together towards the same goals, intentions, competencies and skills to be developed and nurtured in the PSTs.

Research assistants: Kateri Gagnon, Kelly Kim
Research funded by: Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture

Contact: Limin Jao, PhD
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 089696
Department of Integrated Studies in Education
3700 McTavish
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y2

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