Examining the Change of Pre-Service Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Questioning Approaches through Clinical Interviews

Makbule Gözde Didiş Kabar, Berna Tataroğlu Taşdan


The aim of this study was to investigate the types of questions used by pre-service middle school teachers’ (PSMTs’) and whether or not PSMTs’ questioning approaches change towards probing student’s thinking during their clinical interview experiences. This study was conducted during an undergraduate course offered for middle-school mathematics teachers at a public university during the spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year. The participants in this study consisted of 22 PSMTs who worked in nine groups of two to three. The PSMTs conducted interviews with middle school students from Grades 6, 7 or 8 three times over the length of the course. The data sources for this study were the transcriptions of the audiotaped interviews conducted by PSMTs. The findings displayed that the PSMTs used six different types of questions over three interviews ranging from yes-no questions to probing questions. The findings showed that while the interviewers in four groups changed their questioning approaches in terms of probing student’s thinking, the interviewer of one group changed his questioning approach from checklisting towards leading student’s thinking. Furthermore, the interviewers in four groups did not change their questioning approaches from the first interview to the third interview. This study has implications for mathematics teacher educators concerning the courses designed for changing PSMTs’ questioning approaches. The implications of the findings are discussed.


Clinical interview; Student thinking; Pre-service middle school mathematics teachers;questioning

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