Examining Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Epistemological Beliefs, View about Mathematics, and the Effect of their Prior Mathematics Experience

Authors

Abstract

This study examined preservice elementary teachers' (PETs') epistemological beliefs (EB) and their views about mathematics (VM) and the impact on these parameters by their prior experience in learning mathematics. A total of 541 PETs from an American university completed EB and VM questionnaires. It was found that participants’ EB and the relationship to their VM are different compared to those of other college students or middle/high school students. Participants hold strong beliefs about “how to study” but not “what knowledge is.” Furthermore, the more participants believe that knowledge is constructed by authority and a collection of facts, the more they make efforts to improve their knowledge of mathematics. Concerning their prior mathematics experience, the more mathematics courses they have taken during secondary education, the more developed EB and VM they have, but their prior experience in college mathematics education did not have any significant correlation with their EB and VM.

Author Biographies

Soon Lee, Kennesaw State University

Assistant Professor of Science Education

Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Bagwell College of Education

JaeHwan Byun, Wichita State Univeristy

Assistant Professor

School of Education

College of Applied Studies

Mara Alagic, Wichita State University

Professor

School of Education

College of Applied Studies

Fuchang Liu, Wichita State University

Professor

School of Education

College of Applied Studies

References

Aslan, C. (2017). Examining epistemological beliefs of teacher candidates according to various variables. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 2017(67), 37-50. https://dio.org/10.14689/ejer.2017.67.3

Boz, N., & Boz, Y. (2014). Are pre-service mathematics teachers’ teaching concerns related to their epistemological beliefs? Hrvatski Časopis Za Odgoj I Obrazovanje, 16(2), 335–362.

Breiteig, T., Grevholm, B., & Kislenko, K. (2005). Beliefs and attitudes In mathematics teaching and learning. Paper presented at the Nordisk konferanse i matematikkdidaktikk ved NTNU, November 15–16, 2004.

Buehl, M. M., Alexander, P. A., & Murphy, P. K. (2002). Beliefs about schooled knowledge: Domain specific or domain general? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 27(3), 415–449.

Cam, A., Sulun, Y., Topcu, M. S., & Guven, G. (2015). The examination of pre-service teachers’ epistemological beliefs in terms of Hofer's and Hammer & Elby's view. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 182, 249–253.

Carlson, M., Buskirk, T., & Halloun, I. (1999). Assessing college students’ views about mathematics with the views about mathematics survey. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 40(3), 237–258.

Chen, J. A., & Pajares, F. (2010). Implicit theories of ability of Grade 6 science students: Relation to epistemological beliefs and academic motivation and achievement in science. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35(1), 75–87.

Depaepe, F., De Corte, E., & Verschaffel, L. (2016). Mathematical epistemological beliefs. In : J. Greene, W. Sandoval, & I. Braten (Eds.), Handbook of epistemic cognition (pp. 147–164). Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Duell, O. K., & Schommer-Aikins, M. (2001). Measures of people's beliefs about knowledge and learning. Educational Psychology Review, 13(4), 419–449.

Dunekacke, S., Jenßen, L., Eilerts, K., & Blömeke, S. (2016). Epistemological beliefs of prospective preschool teachers and their relation to knowledge, perception, and planning abilities in the field of mathematics: a process model. ZDM: Mathematics Education, 48(1–2), 125–137.

Ernest, P. (1989). The impact of beliefs on the teaching of mathematics.. In P. Ernest (Ed.), Mathematics teaching: The state of the art (pp. 249–254). London: Falmer Press.

Fennema, E., & Sherman, J. A. (1976). Fennema-Sherman mathematics attitudes scales: Instruments designed to measure attitudes toward the learning of mathematics by females and males. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 7(5), 324–326.

Fives, H., & Buehl, M. M. (2014). Exploring differences in practicing teachers’ valuing of pedagogical knowledge based on teaching ability beliefs. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(5), 435–448.

Gill, M. G., Ashton, P. T., & Algina, J. (2004). Changing preservice teachers’ epistemological beliefs about teaching and learning in mathematics: An intervention study. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29(2), 164–185.

Gunstone, R. F. (1991). Reconstructing theory from practical experience. In B. Woolnough (Ed.), Practical science (pp. 67–77). Open University Press.

Hofer, B. K., & Pintrich, P. R. (1997). The development of epistemological theories: Beliefs about knowledge and knowing and their relation to learning. Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 88–140.

Huling, M. (2014). The effect of teachers' epistemological beliefs on practice. [Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida].

Kloosterman, P. (2002). Beliefs about mathematics and mathematics learning in the secondary school: Measurement and implications for motivation. In G. C. Leder, E. Pehkonen, & G. (Eds.), Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education? (pp. 247–269). Springer.

Kloosterman, P., & Cougan, M. C. (1994). Students' beliefs about learning school mathematics. The Elementary School Journal, 94(4), 375–388.

Kloosterman, P., & Stage, F. K. (1992). Measuring beliefs about mathematical problem solving. School Science and Mathematics, 92(3), 109–115.

Loewen, S., & Gonulal, T. (2015). Exploratory factor analysis and principal components analysis. In Advancing quantitative methods in second language research (pp. 182–212). Routledge.

Lunn Brownlee, J., Ferguson, L. E., & Ryan, M. (2017). Changing teachers' epistemic cognition: A new conceptual framework for epistemic reflexivity. Educational Psychologist, 52(4), 242–252.

Metallidou, P. (2013). Epistemological beliefs as predictors of self-regulated learning strategies in middle school students. School Psychology International, 34(3), 283–298.

Muis, K. R. (2004a). Epistemic styles and mathematics problem solving: Examining relations in the context of self-regulated learning. [Doctoral dissertation Simon Fraser University]

Muis, K. R. (2004b). Personal epistemology and mathematics: A critical review and synthesis of research. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 317–377.

Ng, W., Nicholas, H., & Williams, A. (2010). School experience influences on pre-service teachers' evolving beliefs about effective teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(2), 278–289.

Paulsen, M. B., & Wells, C. T. (1998). Domain differences in the epistemological beliefs of college students. Research in Higher Education, 39(4), 365–384.

Rastegar, A., Jahromi, R. G., Haghighi, A. S., & Akbari, A. R. (2010). The relation of epistemological beliefs and mathematics achievement: the mediating role of achievement goals, mathematics self-efficacy, and cognitive engagement. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 791–797.

Schoenfeld, A. H. (1989). Explorations of students' mathematical beliefs and behavior. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 20(4), 338–355.

Schommer-Aikins, M. (2002). Epistemological belief system. In B. K. Hofer & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Personal epistemology: The psychology of beliefs about knowledge and knowing, (pp. 105–118). Taylor & Francis.

Schommer-Aikins, M. (2004). Explaining the epistemological belief system: Introducing the embedded systemic model and coordinated research approach. Educational Psychologist, 39, 19–29. doi:10.1207/s15326985ep3901_3

Schommer-Aikins, M., & Duell, O. K. (2013). Domain specific and general epistemological beliefs their effects on mathematics. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 31(2), 317–330. http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/rie.31.2.170911

Schommer-Aikins, M., Duell, O. K., & Barker, S. (2003). Epistemological beliefs across domains using Biglan's classification of academic disciplines. Research in Higher Education, 44(3), 347–366.

Schommer-Aikins, M., Duell, O. K., & Hutter, R. (2005). Epistemological beliefs, mathematical problem-solving beliefs, and academic performance of middle school students. The Elementary School Journal, 105(3), 289–304.

Schommer‐Aikins, M., & Easter, M. (2006). Ways of knowing and epistemological beliefs: Combined effect on academic performance. Educational Psychology, 26(3), 411–423.

Schommer-Aikins, M., & Easter, M. (2015). Epistemic processing of communication and openness to diversity preparing students for a global society. American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences: e-Journal, 11(1), 114–121.

Schommer-Aikins, M., Mau, W.-C., Brookhart, S., & Hutter, R. (2000). Understanding middle students' beliefs about knowledge and learning using a multidimensional paradigm. The Journal of Educational Research, 94(2), 120–127.

Schommer, M. (1990). Effects of beliefs about the nature of knowledge on comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(3), 498–504.

Schommer, M. (1993). Epistemological development and academic performance among secondary students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(3), 406–411.

Schommer, M. (1994). An emerging conceptualization of epistemological beliefs and their role in learning. In R. Garner & P. A. Alexander (Eds.), Beliefs about text and instruction with text, (pp. 25–40). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Schommer, M., Crouse, A., & Rhodes, N. (1992). Epistemological beliefs and mathematical text comprehension: Believing it is simple does not make it so. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(4), 435–443. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.84.4.435

Schommer, M., & Walker, K. (1995). Are epistemological beliefs similar across domains? Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3), 424–432.

Spangler, D. A. (1992). Assessing students' beliefs about mathematics. The Mathematics Educator, 3(1), 148–152. https://doi.org/10.5951/AT.40.3.0148

Stohlmann, M., Moore, T., Cramer, K., & Maiorca, C. (2015). Changing pre-service elementary teachers' beliefs about mathematical knowledge. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 16(2), 4–24.

Taylor, P. C., & Fraser, B. J. (1991). CLES: An instrument for assessing constructivist learning environments. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Lake Geneva, WI.

Tezci, E., Erdener, M. A., & Atici, S. (2016). The effect of pre-service teachers' epistemological beliefs on teaching approaches. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4(12A), 205–215.

Trakulphadetkrai, N. V. (2012). Relationship between classroom authority and epistemological beliefs as espoused by primary school mathematics teachers from the very high and very low socio-economic regions in Thailand. Journal of International and Comparative Education, 1(2), 71–89.

Tsai, C.-C., Ho, H. N. J., Liang, J.-C., & Lin, H.-M. (2011). Scientific epistemic beliefs, conceptions of learning science and self-efficacy of learning science among high school students. Learning and Instruction, 21(6), 757–769.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2017). Education: Percentage of female teachers by teaching level of education. http://data.uis.unesco.org/index.aspx?queryid=178#

Viholainen, A., Asikainen, M., & Hirvonen, P. E. (2014). Mathematics student teachers' epistemological beliefs about the nature of mathematics and the goals of mathematics teaching and learning in the beginning of their studies. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 10(2), 159–171.

Wood, P., & Kardash, C. (2002). Critical elements in the design and analysis of studies of epistemology. In B. K. Hofer & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Personal epistemology: The psychology of beliefs about knowledge and knowing (pp. 231–260). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Woolley, S. L., Benjamin, W.-J. J., & Woolley, A. W. (2004). Construct validity of a self-report measure of teacher beliefs related to constructivist and traditional approaches to teaching and learning. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64(2), 319–331.

Yilmaz, H., & Sahin, S. (2011). Pre-service teachers' epistemological beliefs and conceptions of teaching. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(1), 73–88.

Yoon, H.-G., & Kim, B. S. (2016). Preservice elementary teachers' beliefs about nature of science and constructivist teaching in the content-specific context. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(3), 457–475.

Downloads

Published

2021-08-13