The universal emphasis in mathematics education on teaching and learning for understanding can require substantial paradigmatic shifts for many elementary school teachers. Consequently, a pressing goal of teacher preparation programs should be the facilitation of these changes during program experiences. This longitudinal, mixed methods study presents a thorough investigation of the effects of a distinctive teacher preparation program on important constructs related to prospective teacher preparedness to teach mathematics for understanding, including mathematics pedagogical and teaching efficacy beliefs, mathematics anxiety, and specialized content knowledge for teaching mathematics. The results indicate that the programmatic features experienced by the prospective teachers in this study, including a developmental two-course mathematics methods sequence and coordinated developmental field placements, provided a context supporting teacher change. These shifts are interpreted through the nature and timing of the experiences in the program and a model of teacher change processes. The findings provide insights for mathematics educators as to the outcomes of these programmatic features.
Susan L. Swars, Stephanie Z. Smith, Marvin E. Smith and Lynn C. Hart have written an article called A longitudinal study of effects of a developmental teacher preparation program on elementary prospective teachers’ mathematics beliefs. The article was published online in Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education on Thursday. Here is the abstract of their article: