Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.282787
Title: Primary teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching with special reference to a Logo-based in-service course
Author: Moreira, Cândida Maria de Almeida Paupério Queiroz
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1992
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Abstract:
This thesis investigates primary teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching, and whether or not they are amenable to change. As used in the study, the term focuses on people, objects and issues, and brings together thought, action and emotion. The purpose of the research was threefold: • to investigate primary teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and towards mathematics teaching, and as a subsidiary aim to examine factors that might account for these attitudes; • to examine ways in which primary teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching, along with other factors, influence their participation in a Logo-based mathematics in-service course; • to ascertain the degree to which primary teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and its teaching are influenced by their participation in a Logo-based mathematics in-service course. A two-country "zoom lens" design was adopted. It consisted of two qualitatively distinct but related sub-studies: (1) an attitude survey making use of a self-administered questionnaire; and (2) a developmental study of attitude change based on a Logo-based mathematical in-service course. These issues were investigated by adapting a vantage point which spans two educational cultures: England and Portugal. The attitude survey was administered in England in the Autumn term of the 1987/88 academic year and involved all the primary teachers of Suffolk County Council. In Portugal, it was administered in the Spring term of the sane academic year and involved all the primary teachers in the district of Viseu. The attitude questionnaire used in the survey included several Likentype scales aimed at mirroring different aspects of primary teachers' attitudes towards mathematics, as well as questions which sought to gather information about the teachers' background. The second sub-study was carried out in Portugal in the Summer term of the academic year 1987/88, and in England in the Autumn term of the following academic year. It involved ten Portuguese primary teachers and seven English primary teachers who volunteered to attend the Logo course. The methodology used in this sub-study combined ethnographic methods and concepts with principles akin to an action research paradigm. Considering the two sub-studies as a whole, the two most important conclusions were the following. First, the study indicated that the attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching of the English primary teachers differed considerably from those of the Portuguese ones, along with their interactions with the Logo course, thus implying that cultural, social and even political factors are relevant to teachers' attitudes. Second, when the participation of the teachers in England and Portugal were compared (not in absolute, but in relative terms), there was a fair degree of similarity as to the conclusions reached in the two countries. The following conclusions were drawn: (a) Shifts in the teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching were more likely to occur when they were already committed to change at the beginning of the course; (b) Shifts in the teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching were closely related to the sense of personal achievement they derived from the course.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.282787  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training Education
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