Preservice-Teacher Interviews: A Tool for Motivating Mathematics Learning

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  • 1 Portland State University
  • 2 San Diego State University
  • 3 Portland State University

Helping prospective elementary school teachers (PSTs) recognize that they have something useful to learn from university mathematics courses remains a constant challenge. We found that an initial content interview with PSTs often led to the PSTs' changing their beliefs about mathematics and about their understanding of mathematics, leading to the recognition that (a) there is something to learn beyond procedures, (b) their own knowledge is limited and they need to know more to be able to teach, and (c) engaging in the mathematical activities in their content courses will lead them to learning important content. Thus, such an interview can set PSTs on a trajectory characterized by greater motivation to learn in their content courses.

Contributor Notes

Eva Thanheiser, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751;

Randolph A. Philipp, CRMSE, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92120;

Jodi Fasteen, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751;

Krista Strand, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751;

Briana Mills, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751;

(Corresponding author is Thanheiser author is Philipp author is Fasteen author is Strand author is Mills

1 Acknowledgement: The analysis of this study was supported in part by a Portland State University Faculty Enhancement Grant.

Mathematics Teacher Educator


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