Mathematical Attitudes, Beliefs and Achievement in Primary Pre-service Mathematics Teacher Education

Allan L. White, Jenni Way, Bob Perry, Beth Southwell


This paper reports on a study focused upon 83 pre-service primary teachers in their
first mathematics pedagogy subject at the University of Western Sydney. They
completed three surveys: an achievement test of the mathematics they would be
expected to teach; a survey of their beliefs about mathematics, mathematics teaching
and mathematics learning; and a survey of their attitudes towards mathematics. The
experiences and beliefs of pre-service teachers influence the formation of attitudes
and these, in turn, influence their classroom practices and beliefs. These beliefs,
attitudes and practices may sometimes be at variance with the main direction of their
tertiary teaching methods courses. Thus, it is crucial in assisting pre-service teachers
to understand their own beliefs, attitudes and practices, and that these are made
explicit and examined. This paper reports the data from the achievement test, belief
survey and the attitude survey, and investigates the relationships between these data.
The results from this study show some connections, although relatively weak, among
the three constructs and lead us to speculate on possible reasons for these.


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