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Elementary Preservice Teachers' Changing Beliefs and Instructional Use of Children's Mathematical Thinking

Nancy Nesbitt Vacc, George W. Bright 

January 1999, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 89

In this research, we examined changes in preservice elementary school teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics and their abilities to provide mathematics instruction that was based on children's thinking. The 34 participants in this study were introduced to Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) as part of a mathematics methods course. Belief-scale scores indicated that significant changes in their beliefs and perceptions about mathematics instruction occurred across the 2-year sequence of professional course work and student teaching during their undergraduate program but that their use of knowledge of children's mathematical thinking during instructional planning and teaching was limited. Preservice teachers may acknowledge the tenets of CGI and yet be unable to use them in their teaching. The results raise several questions about factors that may influence success in planning instruction on the basis of children's thinking. 

Grades 3-5
Conceptual Development
Critical Theory
Professional Development / Teacher Education
Whole Numbers / Natural Numbers / Counting Numbers