Lived Experiences: Secondary Mathematics Pre-Service Teachers’ Perspectives About Multiple Components of Their Teacher Education Program

Limin Jao, Alexandra Stewart, Nakita Rao


Reform-based approaches to teaching mathematics are proven to be most effective for students’ learning, yet many novice secondary mathematics teachers still use traditional approaches. One reason for this is that novice teachers tend to teach the way that they experienced mathematics as students themselves. There is thus an onus on teacher education programs to provide pre-service teachers (PSTs) with new, reform-based experiences with mathematics in order to positively influence their future teaching practice. Grounded in situated learning theory, this qualitative, exploratory case study examined PSTs’ perceptions and experiences of reform-based approaches in three components of their teacher education program. PSTs shared during interviews that they experienced reform-based approaches in both “student” and “teacher” roles in different ways and to different extents. Findings also highlight the impact that teacher educators have on PSTs’ learning. We conclude by proposing multiple considerations for how teacher education programs can provide opportunities for PSTs to experience reform-based approaches in situated ways.


field experiences; mathematics content courses; mathematics education; mathematics teaching methods courses; pre-service teacher education; reform-based approaches; situated learning

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