This PDF file presents chapter 15 of The Learning of Mathematics: 69th NCTM
Yearbook in a downloadable file that preserves the design and layout of the book
while allowing users to search and print selected pages.
Chapter 15: Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs about Mathematics and Links
to Students’ Learning.
Denise Mewborn and Dionne Cross (both of University of Georgia – Athens) present
an argument for how teachers’ beliefs about the nature of mathematics can affect
(1) how they view their roles as teachers and the role of the students, (2)
their choice of classroom activities, and (3) the instructional approaches they
use in the classroom. Mewborn and Cross also assert that teachers’ beliefs about
what counts as mathematical understanding and knowledge, about how students
learn mathematics, and about the purposes of schools in general also affect
their mathematics teaching practices. They conclude that teachers’ beliefs have
an intimate link to students’ opportunities to learn and therefore to students’
beliefs. In the remainder of their article they furnish information to assist
teachers and teacher developers in addressing the issue of teachers’ beliefs.
First, Mewborn and Cross describe the manner in which beliefs are held and
changed. Then they supply some examples of tasks they have used with in-service
and preservice teachers to raise their awareness of their beliefs about the
nature of mathematics and about mathematics learning.
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