Attitudes versus achievement in pre-service mathematics teacher education

Year: 2005

Author: Southwell, Beth, White, Allan, Perry, Bob, Way, Jenny

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Attitudes are generally regarded as having been learnt. They predispose an individual to action that has some degree of consistency. The experiences of pre-service teachers influence the formation of attitudes and these, in turn, influence their classroom practices. These attitudes and practices may sometimes be at variance with the main direction of their tertiary teaching methods courses. Thus it is crucial in assisting pre-service teachers to understand their own attitudes and practices that these attitudes be made explicit and examined. This paper reports upon part of a larger study that focussed upon pre-service primary teachers in their first mathematics pedagogy subject at the University of Western Sydney. The students completed three data collection instruments: an achievement test of the mathematics they would be expected to teach; a survey of their beliefs about mathematics, mathematics teaching and mathematics learning; and a survey of their attitudes towards mathematics and mathematics teaching. This paper only reports the data from the achievement test and the attitude survey, and investigates the relationships between these data.