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Title: Pre-Service Primary Teachers' Mathematics Conceptions and Practices
Author: Ben-Motreb, Khaled Saad
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 5779
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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This study investigates the relationships between the teaching practices of a cohort of year-four mathematics specialist pre-service teachers (n=48) at Hafouf Teachers' College in Saudi Arabia and their mathematics conceptions. These conceptions were compared to those of the whole cohort of year-three Arabic, mathematics and science pre-service teachers (n = 130). The mathematics conceptions of the two cohorts were surveyed at the beginning of the college semester and the year-four mathematics pre-service teachers were subsequently observed whilst on their teaching practice semester. In addition, the year-four mathematics pre-service teachers were surveyed toward the end of the teaching practice semester to investigate possible changes in their conceptions after their teaching experiences. The design of the study can be regarded as associational research that is not only limited to correlational methods but also benefits from other approaches, such as survey and qualitative methods to involve recording, analysis, comparison, and interpretation of study settings. Data were collected using three instruments: (1) a Likert-type questionnaire to measure conceptions of mathematics and its teaching; (2) a lesson observation schedule to observe teaching practices; and (3) mathematics subject knowledge grades as a measure of mathematical ability. Analysis of pre-service teachers' mathematics conceptions identified seven factors: confidence and enjoyment, experiences of mathematics, connectionist view, usefulness, transmission view, procedural view, and exploratory view. Pre-service teachers' belief systems were not internally coherent but instead comprised a mixture of traditional and reform beliefs about mathematics and its teaching. Mathematics and science specialists showed more confidence and enjoyment in mathematics than Arabic specialists, but also held views of teaching mathematics that were more transmission-oriented. Prior to their teaching practice experiences, the year-four mathematics pre-service teachers revealed similar conceptions to their year-three counterparts.. However, their teaching practice experiences increased their level of confidence and enjoyment in mathematics but also decreased their belief in the exploratory view of teaching mathematics. No significant relationship was established between the year-four pre-service teachers' espoused beliefs and their enacted beliefs in terms of traditional and reform orientated practices in the classroom. Regardless of their espoused beliefs, mostly the pre-service teachers adopted traditional teaching practices. The research also indicated that year-four mathematics pre-service teachers' subject knowledge grades were not significantly related to the level of mathematics subject knowledge they demonstrated when teaching in the classroom. Based on the findings, several recommendations are made and possible directions for further research are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available