Year

2002

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Faculty of Education

Abstract

This study explores beliefs held by student teachers and practising primary teachers about the nature of mathematics, the teaching and learning of mathematics, and their own classroom practices. The study aims to provide evidence of the relationships between these beliefs, the teaching of mathematics, and the influences and constraints on classroom practice. The study is both quantitative and qualitative in design, using semi-structured interview as a main tool while supported and guided by an initial questionnaire survey. A cohort of 361 student teachers and 34 practising teachers responded to the questionnaire survey. The interview data were based on the beliefs of twelve student teachers in all four year levels of the B Ed program at Wollongong University and of twelve practising teachers from two schools of Sydney Metropolitan area and two in the lllawarra area. The findings show coherence among the practising teachers beliefs and consistencies between these beliefs and their reported classroom practice. The study also found evidence for comparing student teachers beliefs and their perceptions about their preservice program, identifying significant differences of their beliefs from those of practicing teachers. Finally, proposals are made for future study with reference to the preservice program in relation to mathematics curriculum and policy for schools and teacher professional development.

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