A Study of the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs of Primary Teachers

  • George Philippou
  • Constantinos Christou
Part of the Mathematics Education Library book series (MELI, volume 31)


The affective domain has in recent years attracted much attention from the mathematics research community; empirical data seem to increasingly support expert opinion that affect plays a decisive role in the process of cognitive development. One of the less researched dimensions of the affective domain is teachers’ beliefs about the efficacy of their mathematics teaching. Though there are studies examining efficacy-beliefs with respect to mathematics learning, we have not been able to locate any study related to efficacy-beliefs with respect to teaching mathematics. Belief in one’s ability to overcome obstacles and bring about a predetermined outcome may be decisive in motivation to undertake the endeavour, and to put in time and resources. In this chapter, based on a sample in Cyprus, we examine primary school teachers’ efficacy-beliefs with respect mathematics teaching. From an analysis of self-reported questionnaires and interview data, it was found that teachers feel quite competent to teach mathematics, and that the level of efficacy improves, after diminishing during the initial career period. The preservice program seemed to make a difference to beliefs about the efficacy of their mathematics teaching; however, in general the teachers seemed to be critical about the preservice program they passed through. The findings of this study might have important implications for teacher preparation and teacher development in general.


Mathematics Teaching Prospective Teacher School Climate Primary Teacher Efficacy Belief 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Philippou
  • Constantinos Christou

There are no affiliations available

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