Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Teacher Training Programs on Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers' Beliefs towards Mathematics*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Teacher Training Programs on Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers' Beliefs towards Mathematics*

Article excerpt

Mathematics education reforms in the world also have affected the Turkish mathematics education system, moving from traditional approaches to content- based approaches based on problem solving (Baki, 2008). In accordance with the 2005 teaching program reforms in Turkey, a constructivist approach was adapted. Teachers' roles changed from traditional to guidance within the curriculum (Milli Egitim Bakanligi, 2005). Conducting a successful curriculum mostly depends on the teachers (Çakiroglu & Çakiroglu, 2003). In many researches it was found that teachers and pre-service teachers attended these reforms, but they did not reflect the approaches focused on in these reforms into their teaching (e.g. Gooya, 2007; Gregoire, 1999; Hiebert & Stigler, 2000; Toluk- Uçar & Demirsoy, 2010). However, it is frequently mentioned in the literature that teachers' beliefs and teachers' perspectives effect their behavior and attitude during their teaching period (e.g. Haciömeroglu, 2011; Kayan & Çakiroglu, 2008; Pajares, 1992; Raymond, 1997; Thompson, 1984; Toluk-Uçar & Demirsoy, 2010; Toluk-Uçar, Piskin, Akkas, & Tasçi, 2010;). In this context, it is very important to examine the change in teachers' and pre-service teachers' beliefs. In the literature it is stated that there is not any ag- reement on the definition of beliefs (Ernest, 1989; Pajares, 1992; Thompson, 1992). Schoenfeld (1985) and Sigel (1985) focused on the fact that belief oc- curs relative to one's experiences thus focusing on its cognitive dimension. Furinghetti and Pehkonen (2002) and Richardson (2003) focused on the affec- tive dimension of belief. Ernest (1989) defines belief towards mathematics as an individual's comprehen- sion values, ideology and tendency towards mathe- matics. He classified belief towards mathematics as instrumental, Platonist and problem solving. Dionne (1984), on the other hand, classified belief towards mathematics as traditional, formalist and constructivist. Törner and Grigutsch (1994) stated that mathematical belief has three components: to- olbox, system and process. These different views are more or less related to each other (Liljedahl, 2009). Ernest emphasized mathematics teachers' beliefs in three subcontexts: beliefs about the nature of mat- hematics, beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and beliefs about the learning of mathematics. Beli- efs about the nature of mathematics deal with what mathematics is used for and what its qualifications are. Beliefs about the teaching of mathematics deal with how teaching is expected to be done and which materials and methods are going to be used during teaching. Beliefs about the learning of mathema- tics deal with the beliefs of teachers on how they conceive of the learning of mathematics and which activities are appropriate for them (Baydar & Bulut, 2002; Ernest, 1989). Feiman-Nemser, McDiarmid, Melnick, and Parker's (1988) studies were in accor- dance with Ernest's study towards describing this classification. Philippou and Christou (1999) and Steinbring (1998) stated that teachers' beliefs effect their teaching period as well as their classroom ac- tivities. Teachers' beliefs towards mathematics can be formed in two ways: a) the studies examining the relationship between teachers' beliefs and their teaching practices regarding mathematics (e.g. Bes- wick, 2006; Hart, 2002; Raymond, 1997; Thompson, 1984) and b) the studies defining teachers' beliefs about the nature of mathematics, the teaching of mathematics and the learning of mathematics (e.g. Adnan & Zakaria, 2010; Paksu, 2008; Shahvarani & Savizi, 2007). Since most of our beliefs are resistant to change, being formed in childhood and during the experiences of school life (Frank, 1988), studies examining the change in teachers' beliefs show that teachers are extremely resistant towards changing their current beliefs (Hiebert & Stigler, 2000). It is clear that the studies about the effects of teacher education programs on pre-service teachers' beliefs show two different results. …

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