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Curricular Influences on the Motivational Beliefs and Practice of Two Middle School Mathematics Teachers: A Follow-Up Study

James A. Middleton 

May 1999, Volume 30, Issue 3, Page 349

Abstract:
In this study I examine the structures of 2 teachers' beliefs about what makes mathematics intrinsically motivating and provide instances of the representations of their beliefs at 2 times: before the introduction of middle school mathematics curricula organized around the tenets of Realistic Mathematics Education and after 1 year of implementing a pilot program. Personal-constructs analyses are paired with observations of teachers' classrooms and their beliefs and perceptions as reported in semistructured interviews. Results indicate that the teachers became more attuned to the conceptual complexity and challenge of mathematics activities and placed less emphasis on task ease over their year of involvement in the pilot program. Results are discussed in relation to "job-embedded learning," a form of staff development that fosters teachers' development of meaning with regard to reforms, and how such learning enables shifts in teacher beliefs and practice.