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Preservice secondary mathematics teachers' beliefs about teaching with technology

by 1967- Leatham, Keith Rigby

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigated preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ (PSTs) beliefs about teaching mathematics with technology, the experiences in which those beliefs were grounded, and how those beliefs were held. Beliefs were defined as dispositions to act. Coherentism and the metaphor of a belief system provided a conceptual framework through which the PSTs’ beliefs were seen as sensible systems. Coherentism was posited as an alternative way of interpreting apparent inconsistencies between teacher’s beliefs and their practice. Through the qualitative research methodology called ground theory, four PSTs were purposefully selected and studied. Data stories were written that demonstrated the organization and structure of the PSTs’ belief systems. From an analysis of the PSTs’ experiences with technology, a theory was posited that focused on the PSTs’ ownership of learning mathematics with technology. Experience, knowledge, and confidence were the primary factors that constituted ownership. The primary dimensions of the PSTs’ core beliefs with respect to technology, referred to as their beliefs about the nature of technology in the classroom, were the availability of technology, the purposeful use of technology, and the importance of teacher knowledge of technology. The PSTs envisioned technology playing a multitude of roles in their classroom. Motivational roles of technology were nonmathematical in nature and were closely tied to the PSTs’ beliefs that effective teachers motivated their students to learn and used a variety of teaching methods. Procedural roles involved using technology to execute calculations or procedures that could also be (and often were) done by hand. Conceptual roles facilitated the visualization and exploration of mathematics. The more PSTs wanted to focus on conceptual understanding and wanted students to take responsibility for that understanding, the more they were concerned about their own ability to facilitate such learning and the need for technology availability. The more PSTs focused on procedural understanding in mathematics and on teacher-centered lessons, the more they were concerned about students misusing technology and failing to learn the procedures.
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School:The University of Georgia

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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