# Exploring the Impact of Reform Mathematics on Entry-Level Pre-service Primary Teachers Attitudes Towards Mathematics

Article

First Online:

Received:

Accepted:

- 5 Citations
- 418 Downloads

## Abstract

This study reports entry-level mathematics attitudes of pre-service primary teachers entering an initial teacher education (ITE) program one decade apart. Attitudes of 360 pre-service primary teachers were compared to 419 pre-service teachers entering the same college of education almost one decade later. The latter experienced reform school mathematics curricula compared to the earlier cohort who experienced traditional curricula. Attitudes were determined by administering Aiken’s Revised Mathematics Attitude Scale (Aiken, 1974). Analyses indicate generally positive attitudes on entry to ITE. The earlier cohort demonstrated greater Enjoyment of Mathematics while the later cohort exhibited higher scores on the Value of Mathematics scale.

### Keywords

Attitudes to mathematics Curricular reform Initial teacher education Mathematics education Reform mathematics### References

- Aiken, L. R. (1974). Two scales of attitude toward mathematics.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 5*, 67–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Allport, G. (1947).
*Personality: A psychological interpretation*. London, England: Constable and Company.Google Scholar - Ambrose, R. (2004). Initiating change in prospective elementary school teachers’ orientations to mathematics teaching by building on beliefs.
*Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 7*, 91–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ball, D. L. (1990). Prospective elementary and secondary teachers’ understanding of division.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 21*, 132–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ball, D. L., Hill, H. C., & Bass, H. (2005). Knowing mathematics for teaching- who knows mathematics well enough to teach third grade, and how can we decide?
*American Educator, Fall, 29*(1), 14-17, 20-22, 43-46..Google Scholar - Bekdemir, M. (2010). The pre-service teachers’ mathematics anxiety related to depth of negative experiences in mathematics classroom while they were students.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 75*, 311–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Bush, W. S. (1989). Mathematics anxiety in upper elementary school teachers.
*School Science and Mathematics, 89*(6), 499–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Chalambous, C. Y., Panaoura, A., & Philippou, G. (2009). Using the history of mathematics to induce changes in preservice teachers’ beliefs and attitudes: insights from evaluating a teacher education program.
*Educucational Studies in Mathematics, 71*, 161–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Close, S., Shiel, G., Kiniry, J., & Millar, D. (2011). Assessing reasoning and problem solving in Junior Cycle mathematics: Lessons from a pilot study. In T. Dooley, D. Corcoran, & M. Ryan (Eds.),
*Proceedings of the Fourth National Conference on Research in Mathematics Education (MEI4)*(pp. 104–116). Dublin Ireland: St Patrick’s College of Education.Google Scholar - Cockcroft, W. H. (1982).
*Mathematics counts (Report of the committee of enquiry into the teaching of mathematics in schools)*. London, UK: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.Google Scholar - Corcoran, D. (2005). An exploration of the mathematical literacy of Irish students preparing to be primary school teachers. In S. Close, D. Corcoran, & T. Dooley (Eds.),
*Proceedings of the First National Conference on Research in Mathematics Education (MEI 1)*(pp. 220–233). Dublin, Ireland: St. Patrick’s College of Education.Google Scholar - Delaney, S., Ball, D., Hill, H., Shilling, G., & Zopf, D. (2008). Mathematical knowledge for teaching: adapting U.S. measures for use in Ireland.
*Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 11*(3), 171–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Department of Employment, Education and Training (1989).
*Discipline review of teacher education in mathematics and science*. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.Google Scholar - Dutton, W. H. (1951). Attitudes of prospective teachers toward arithmetic.
*Elementary School Journal, 51*, 84–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGSFN) (2007).
*Statement on raising national mathematical achievement*. Dublin, Ireland : Expert Group on Future Skills Needs. Retrieved from http://www.forfas.ie/media/egfsn081215_raising_mathematical_achievement.pdf (Accessed 23 June 2011). - Fennema, E., Peterson, P. L., Carpenter, T. P., & Lubinski, C. A. (1990). Teachers’ attributions and beliefs about girls, boys and mathematics.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21*, 55–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Frank, M. L. (1990). What myths about mathematics are held and conveyed by teachers?
*Arithmetic Teacher, 37*(5), 10–12.Google Scholar - Gilbert, C. D. & Cooper, D. (1976). The relationship between teacher/student attitudes and the competency levels of sixth grade students.
*School Science and Mathematics, 76*, 469–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Harper, N. W. & Daane, C. J. (1998). Causes and reduction of mathematics anxiety in preservice elementary teachers.
*Action in Teacher Education, 14*(4), 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hembree, R. (1990). The nature, effects, and relief of mathematics anxiety.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 21*, 33–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hilton, P. (1980). Mathematics anxiety: Some suggested causes and cures: Part 1.
*Two-Year College Mathematics Journal, 11*(3), 174–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hollingsworth, S. (1989). Prior beliefs and cognitive change in learning to teach.
*American Education Research Journal, 26*(2), 160–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Holt-Reynolds, D. (1992). Personal history-based beliefs as relevant prior knowledge in coursework: Can we practice what we teach?
*American Education Research Journal, 29*, 325–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hourigan, M. & O’Donoghue, J. (2007). Mathematical under-preparedness: The influence of the pre-tertiary mathematics experiences on students’ ability to make a successful transition to tertiary level mathematics courses in Ireland.
*International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 38*(4), 461–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hourigan, M. & O’Donoghue, J. (2015). Addressing prospective elementary teachers’ mathematics subject matter knowledge through action research.
*International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 46*(1), 56–75. doi:10.1080/0020739X.2014.936977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Isenberg, J. P. & Altizer-Tuning, C. J. (1984). The mathematics education of primary grade children.
*Arithmetic Teacher, 31*(5), 23–27.Google Scholar - Jeffes, J., Jones, E., Wilson, M., Lamont, E., Straw, S., Wheater, R., & Dawson, A. (2013).
*Research into the impact of Project Maths on student achievement, learning and motivation: final report*. Slough, England: NFER.Google Scholar - Kelly, W. P. & Tomhave, W. K. (1985). A study of math anxiety/math avoidance in preservice elementary teachers.
*Arithmetic Teacher, 32*(5), 51–53.Google Scholar - Kerr, D. R. & Lester, F. K. (1982). A new look at the professional training of secondary school mathematics teachers.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 13*, 431–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Korthagen, F. A. J. (1988). The influence of learning orientations on the development of reflective teaching. In J. Calderhead (Ed.),
*Teachers’ professional learning*(pp. 35–50). Philadelphia, PA: Falmer.Google Scholar - Leavy, A. M. & O’Loughlin, N. (2006). Moving beyond the arithmetic average: Preservice teachers understanding of the mean.
*Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 9*(1), 53–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Leavy, A. M. & Sloane, F. (2010).
*Developing statistical literacy in primary level mathematics*. Dublin, Ireland: Irish Department of Education and Science.Google Scholar - Lyons, M., Lynch, K., Close, S., Sheerin, E., & Boland, P. (2003).
*Inside classrooms: The teaching and learning of mathematics in social contexts*. Dublin, Ireland: Institute of Public Administration.Google Scholar - MacKinnon, A. & Erickson, G. (1992). The roles of reflective practice and foundational disciplines in teacher education. In T. Russell & H. Munby (Eds.),
*Teachers and teaching: From classroom and reflection*(pp. 192–210). London, England: Falmer.Google Scholar - Meehan, M. & Paolucci, C. (2007). Reflections of University students on leaving certificate mathematics experience. In S. Close, D. Corcoran, & T. Dooley (Eds.),
*Proceedings of second national conference on research in mathematics education*(pp. 225–265). Dublin, Ireland: St Patrick’s College.Google Scholar - Midgley, C., Feldlaufer, H., & Eccles, J. S. (1989). Change in teacher efficacy and student self and task-related beliefs in mathematics during the transition to junior high school.
*Journal of Educational Psychology, 81*, 247–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Murphy, M. (2002).
*An investigation into mathematical under-preparedness among third level entrants: the possible contribution of the second level mathematics experience*(Unpublished M.Ed. Thesis). University of Limerick, Ireland.Google Scholar - National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (1999).
*Primary school curriculum: Mathematics*. Dublin, Ireland: Stationary Office.Google Scholar - National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2005a).
*Review of mathematics in post primary education*. Dublin, Ireland: Stationary Office.Google Scholar - National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. (2005b).
*Primary curriculum review phase 1: Final report*. Dublin, Ireland: NCCA.Google Scholar - National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2006).
*Review of mathematics in post-primary education: Report on the consultation*. Dublin, Ireland: Stationary Office.Google Scholar - National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2012).
*Project Mathematics—syllabuses and assessment*. Retrieved from http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Post-Primary_Education/Project_Maths/Syllabuses_and_Assessment/index.html (Accessed 12 June 2013). - Neale, D. (1969). The role of attitudes in learning mathematics.
*The Arithmetic Teacher, 16*, 631–641.Google Scholar - Nespor, J. (1987). The role of beliefs in the practice of teaching.
*Journal of Curriculum Studies, 19*(4), 317–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Oldham, E. (2001). The culture of mathematics education in the Republic of Ireland: Keeping the faith.
*Irish Educational Studies, 20*, 266–277.Google Scholar - Pajares, M. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct.
*Review of Educational Research, 62*(3), 307–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Philippou, G. & Christou, C. (1998). The effects of a preparatory mathematics program in changing prospective teachers’ attitudes towards mathematics.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 35*, 189–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Phillips, R. B. (1973). Teacher attitude as related to student attitude and achievement in elementary school mathematics.
*School Science and Mathematics, 73*, 501–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Relich, J. (1996). Gender, self-concept and teachers of mathematics: Effects on attitudes to teaching and learning.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 30*, 179–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Reyes, L. H. (1984). Affective variables and mathematics education.
*The Elementary School Journal, 84*, 558–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ruffell, M., Mason, J., & Allen, B. (1998). Studying attitude to mathematics.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 35*, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Shaughnessy, J., Haladyna, T., & Shaughnessy, J. M. (1983). Relations of student, teacher, and learning environment variables to attitude toward mathematics.
*School Science and Mathematics, 83*, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Shavelson, R. J., Hubner, J. J., & Stanton, G. C. (1976). Validation of construct interpretations.
*Review of Educational Research, 46*, 407–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Sugrue, C. (Ed.). (2004).
*Curriculum and ideology: Irish experiences international perspectives*. Dublin, Ireland: The Liffey Press.Google Scholar - Sullivan, P. (1987). The impact of a pre-service mathematics education course on beginning primary teachers.
*Research in Mathematics Education in Australia,*1–9.Google Scholar - Swars, S. L., Smith, S. Z., & Smith, M. E. (2009). A longitudinal study of effects of a developmental teacher preparation program on elementary prospective teachers’ mathematical beliefs.
*Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 12*(1), 47–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Tatto, M. T., Ingvarson, L., Schwille, J., Peck, R., & Senk, L. (2008a).
*The teacher education and development. Study in mathematics. (TEDS-M)*.*Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics in 17 countries*. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IES.Google Scholar - Tatto, M. T., Schwille, J., Senk, S., Ingvarson, L., Peck, R., & Rowley, G. (2008b).
*Teacher education and development study in mathematics (TEDS-M): Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics. Conceptual framework.*East Lansing, MI: Teacher Education and Development International Study Center, College of Education, Michigan State University.Google Scholar - Tatto, M. R., Rodríguez, M., Reckase, M., Rowley, G., & Yang, L. (2013). Scale development and reporting: Opportunities to learn, beliefs, and mathematics knowledge for teaching. In M. Tattoo (Ed.),
*The teacher education and development. Study in mathematics. (TEDS-M). Policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics in 17 countries. Technical Report*. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IES.Google Scholar - Thompson, A. (1984). The relationship of teachers’ conceptions of mathematics and mathematics teaching to instructional practice.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 15*, 105–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Tobias, S. & Weisbrod, C. (1980). Anxiety and mathematics: An update.
*Harvard Educational Review, 50*(1), 63–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Trice, A. D. & Ogden, E. P. (1985). Correlates of math anxiety in college students.
*Mathematics Matters Journal, 3*, 20–23.Google Scholar - Verschaffel, L. & De Corte, E. (1996). Number and arithmetic. In A. J. Bishop, K. Clements, C. Kentel, J. Kilpatrick, & C. Laborde (Eds.),
*International Handbook of Mathematics Education: Part I*(pp. 99–137). Dodrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar - Watson, J. M. (1987). The attitudes of pre-service primary teachers toward mathematics: Some observations.
*Research in Mathematics Education in Australia,*48–56.Google Scholar - Wigfield, A. & Meece, J. L. (1988). Mathematics anxiety in elementary and secondary school students.
*Journal of Educational Psychology, 80*, 210–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Wilkins, J. L. M. (2008). The relationship among elementary teachers’ content knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
*Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 11*, 139–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

## Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2015