Beliefs about mathematics teaching held by pre-service teachers involved in a first grade mentorship program
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The study compared beliefs about mathematics teaching of four pre-service elementary teachers involved in an intervention experience with those of their non-involved peers. During this intervention, which was based on a socio-constructivist approach to mathematics instruction, the intervention group participated in regular, small-group teaching experiences supported by on-going seminars. The study also examined the relationship between professed beliefs and observed actions for the intervention group.
Although most pre-service teachers in this study seemed to attach some importance to children building their own knowledge through social interaction, the intervention group professed significantly stronger beliefs in a socio-constructivist instructional environment than the comparison group. Even though the intervention group strongly espoused socio-constructivist beliefs, they were not uniformly successful in translating these beliefs into instructional actions. Their actions appeared to be most consistent with a socio-constructivist perspective during the initial phase of an instructional episode, but in later phases their actions reflected more traditional beliefs about teaching mathematics.
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