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Title: Shedding light : evaluating the impact of initial teacher education on the mathematics attitudes and competences of Jamaican primary teacher trainees
Author: Benjamin, Tamika
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 2363
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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This study presents the results of an evaluation of the impact of the primary mathematics component of an initial teacher education programme, on the attitudes and competences of five teacher trainees. The evaluation design was post-positivistic in nature using an illuminative evaluation approach. The programme evaluated was delivered between 2008 and 2010 at St. Mary's College a teachers' training institution located in Kingston Jamaica. The evaluative process involved a review of the programme - its matriculation requirements and courses and an assessment of its impact on the trainee which was facilitated through the development and administration of an audit instrument designed to evaluate the pedagogical content knowledge of the participants. The process of assessing the extent to which the trainees had developed this competence was enhanced through the observation of the trainees while on assignment during their teaching practice. Participants were also interviewed to evaluate their beliefs and attitudes as they relate to mathematics as a subject and its teaching and learning. A mixed methods approach was used to analyse the data gathered. An analysis of the data indicated that having completed the mathematics component of their training programme, the trainees had a personal dislike for the subject with some expressing emotions which are consistent with math anxiety. Trainees held beliefs about the teaching and learning of mathematics which would likely negatively impact their classroom practices. The results also showed that the pedagogical content knowledge of the trainees had not been developed - evident through the absence of a deep, broad understanding of mathematical concepts, the inability to analyse or interpret student errors and a lack of awareness of the most common analogies, illustrations and strategies that could be used in developing basic mathematical ideas. The absence of this knowledge and the relevant competences was highlighted by the inability of the trainees to plan and deliver mathematics lessons which could support the meaningful learning of mathematics. It is felt that weaknesses in the programme design contributed significantly to the outcomes of the study. These weaknesses included waivers in matriculation requirements without the development and implementation of systems to support trainees who had failed to meet the minimum standards as well as an approach to programme delivery which failed to effectively bridge the theory-practice gap.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available