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



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


School of Education

College of Applied Studies

Fuchang Liu, Wichita State University


School of Education

College of Applied Studies


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