Messages Communicated Through Mathematics Content for Elementary Teachers Course Syllabi: A Focus on Mathematical Disposition and Collaboration
Keywords:Preservice teacher education, mathematics content courses for elementary teachers, syllabi analysis, mathematical disposition, collaboration
Professional organisations have provided recommendations for prospective elementary teachers (PTs) to engage in mathematics coursework designed for teachers. In this study, 37 syllabi obtained from instructors of these courses – termed Mathematics Content for Elementary Teachers (MCfET) courses in this paper – were analysed through the lens of messages communicated about the nature of mathematics teaching and learning. Findings indicate that the syllabi in this study communicated messages about mathematical content as well as messages related to mathematical disposition and the role of collaboration in the mathematics classroom. Syllabi presented mathematical disposition messages in two forms: mathematical (i.e., seeing mathematics in the world, mathematics as a sense-making activity) and personal (i.e., belief in oneself, self-assessment), while other syllabi presented potential to promote mathematical disposition. The role of collaboration was described in general and mathematical terms. Careful construction of these messages can help PTs develop a productive mathematical disposition and consider the role of collaboration as they prepare to teach mathematics.
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. (2017). Standards for preparing teachers of mathematics. Retrieved from https://amte.net/sites/default/files/SPTM_ExecSummary.pdf
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. (2006). Standards for excellence in teaching mathematics in Australian schools. Author.
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. (2015). AAMT position statement: Promoting positive attitudes towards mathematics. Author. https://www.aamt.edu.au/About-AAMT/Position-statements/Attitudes
Beattie, M. (2002). Finding new words for old songs: Creating relationships and community in teacher education. In H. Christiansen & S. Ramadevi (Eds.), Reeducating the educator: Global perspectives on community building (pp. 17–38). State University of New York Press.
Beswick, K., & Dole, S. (2001). Dispelling the myths: Influencing the beliefs of pre-service primary teachers. In J. Bobis, B. Perry, & M. Mitchelmore (Eds.), Numeracy and beyond (Proceedings of the 24th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol. 1, pp. 90-97). Sydney: MERGA.
Bibby, T. (2002). Shame: An emotional response to doing mathematics as an adult and a teacher. British Educational Research Journal, 28(5), 705–21.
Billett, S. (2007) Constituting the workplace curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 38(1), 31–48. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220270500153781
Black, P. H., & Lee, C. C., Marshall, B., and Wiliam, D. (2004). Working inside the box: Assessment for learning in the classroom. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(1), 8-21.
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education, 5(1): 7–74.
Boaler, J. (2016). Mathematical mindsets: Unleashing students’ potential through creative math, inspiring messages, and innovative teaching. Wiley & Sons.
Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. (2017). Definitions. Retrieved from http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/definitions.php
Cobb, P. (1995). Mathematical learning and small-group interaction: Four case studies. In P. Cobb & H. Bauersfeld (Eds.), The emergence of mathematical meaning: Interaction in classroom cultures (pp. 25–129). Erlbaum.
Confrey, J. (1995). A theory of intellectual development: Part II. For the Learning of Mathematics, 15(1), 38–48.
Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences. (2001). The mathematical education of teachers. American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America.
Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences. (2012). The mathematical education of teachers II. American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America.
DeLuca, C., & Dellara, A. (2013). The current state of assessment education: Aligning policy, standards, and teacher education curriculum. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(4), 356–72.
Devlin, A. S. (2018). The research experience: Planning, conducting, and reporting research. CA: SAGE Publications.
Doolittle, P. E., & Siudzinski, R. A. (2010). Recommended syllabus components: What do higher education faculty include in their syllabi? Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 20(3), 29-61.
Goos, M., & Bennison, A. (2018). Boundary crossing and brokering between disciplines in pre-service mathematics teacher education. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 30(3), 255-275.
Gorski, P. C. (2009). What we’re teaching teachers: An analysis of multicultural teacher education coursework syllabi. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(2), 309–18.
Greenberg, J., & Walsh, K. (2008). No common denominator: The preparation of elementary teachers in mathematics by America’s education schools. National Council on Teacher Quality.
Harkness, S. S., D’ambrosio, B., & Morrone, A. S. (2007). Preservice elementary teachers’ voices describe how their teacher motivated them to do mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 65(2), 235–54.
Hart, L. C., & Swars, S. L. (2009). The lived experiences of elementary prospective teachers in mathematics content coursework. Teacher Development, 13(2), 159–72.
Hess, J. L., & Whittington, M. S. (2003). Developing an effective course syllabus. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. 47(3), 23-27.
Lowrie, T., & Jorgensen, R. (2016). Pre-service teachers’ mathematics content knowledge: implications for how mathematics is taught in higher education. Teaching Mathematics and its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, 35(4), 202-215.
Lowther, M. A, Stark, J., & Marten, G. (1989). Preparing course syllabi for improved communication. University of Michigan.
Masingila, J. O., Olanoff, D. E., & Kwaka, D. K. (2012). Who teaches mathematics content courses for prospective elementary teachers in the United States? Results of a national survey. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 15(5), 347–58.
McCrory, R. (2006). Mathematicians and mathematics textbooks for prospective elementary teachers. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 53(1), 20–29.
McCrory, R., Francis, A., & Young, S. (2008). Resource use by instructors of mathematics classes for future elementary teachers: Results of a survey. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Committee on Mathematics Instruction (ICMI-11) in Monterrey, Mexico.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1980). An agenda for action: Recommendations for school mathematics of the 1980s. Author.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Author.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1989). Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics. Author.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2014). Principles to actions. Author.
National Research Council. (2001). Adding it up: Helping children learn mathematics. National Academies Press.
Nolan, K., & Dwyer, S. (2002). “All of a sudden they got it”: Understanding preservice teachers’ perceptions of what it means to know (in) math (Report No. 143). Regina, SK: University of Regina. ERIC database. ERIC Document ED 479496.
Posner, G. J. (2004). Analyzing the curriculum. McGraw-Hill.
Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). CA: SAGE Publications.
Stein, M. K., Remillard, J., & Smith, M. S. (2007). How curriculum influences student learning. In F. K. Lester Jr. (Ed.), Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 319–69). Information Age.
Strauss, A. L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge University Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Interaction between learning and development. In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.), Mind and society: The development of higher psychological processes (pp. 79–91). Harvard University Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1979). Consciousness as a problem in the psychology of behavior. Soviet Psychology. 17(4). 3–35.
Wankat, P. C. (2002). The effective, efficient professor: Teaching, scholarship, and service. Allyn and Bacon.
Watt, H. M. (2005). Attitudes to the use of alternative assessment methods in mathematics: A study with secondary mathematics teachers in Sydney, Australia. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 58(1), 21–44.
Wertsch, J. V. (1985). The social origins of higher mental functions. In J. V. Wertsch (Ed.), Vygotsky and the social formation of mind (pp. 58–76). Harvard University Press.