Effects of Early Field Experiences on the Mathematical Content Knowledge and Beliefs of Prospective Elementary School Teachers: An Experimental Study

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  • 1 San Diego State University
  • 2 University of California, Davis
  • 3 Rutgers University
  • 4 University of Houston

In this experimental study, prospective elementary school teachers enrolled in a mathematics course were randomly assigned to (a) concurrently learn about children's mathematical thinking by watching children on video or working directly with chil-dren, (b) concurrently visit elementary school classrooms of conveniently located or specially selected teachers, or (c) a control group. Those who studied children's mathematical thinking while learning mathematics developed more sophisticated beliefs about mathematics, teaching, and learning and improved their mathematical content knowledge more than those who did not. Furthermore, beliefs of those who observed in conveniently located classrooms underwent less change than the beliefs of those in the other groups, including those in the control group. Implications for assessing teachers' beliefs and for providing appropriate experiences for prospective teachers are discussed.

Contributor Notes

Randolph A. Philipp, San Diego State University, School of Teacher Education & Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE), 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92120; rphilipp@mail.sdsu.edu

Rebecca Ambrose, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616; rcambrose@ucdavis.edu

Lisa L. C. Lamb, San Diego State University, School of Teacher Education & CRMSE, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92120; Lisa.Lamb@sdsu.edu

Judith T. Sowder, San Diego State University, Mathematics Department (emeritus) & CRMSE, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92120; jsowder@sciences.sdsu.edu

Bonnie P. Schappelle, San Diego State University, CRMSE, Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92120; bschappe@sunstroke.sdsu.edu

Larry Sowder, San Diego State University, Mathematics Department (emeritus) & CRMSE, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92120; lsowder@sciences.sdsu.edu

Eva Thanheiser, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education, 10 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; evat@rci.rutgers.edu

Jennifer Chauvot, University of Houston, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, 256 Farish Hall, Houston, TX 77204-5027; jchauvot@uh.edu

(Corresponding author is Philipp rphilipp@mail.sdsu.edu)(Corresponding author is Ambrose rcambrose@ucdavis.edu)(Corresponding author is Lamb Lisa.Lamb@sdsu.edu)(Corresponding author is Sowder jsowder@sciences.sdsu.edu)(Corresponding author is Schappelle bschappe@sunstroke.sdsu.edu)(Corresponding author is Sowder lsowder@sciences.sdsu.edu)(Corresponding author is Thanheiser evat@rci.rutgers.edu)(Corresponding author is Chauvot jchauvot@uh.edu)
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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