The Effect Of Research Experiences On Teachers' Belifes And Instruction


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David Barker

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Discovery learning is a common teaching method used in schools today (Kistian et al., 2017), and research has found many benefits to using this method in teaching mathematics (Herdiana et al., 2017). The question then becomes, how do we prepare teachers to use discovery learning? One potential avenue is to provide them opportunities to experience mathematical discovery themselves. The Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences stated that “teachers need opportunities for the full range of mathematical experience themselves: struggling with hard problems, discovering their own solutions, reasoning mathematically, modeling with mathematics, and developing mathematical habits of mind” (p. 54). Research has shown professional development influences teachers’ beliefs (Polly et al., 2013), which in turn influences their instruction in the mathematics classroom (Hart, 2002). In fact, “significant transformations of teaching practice are unlikely to occur if related beliefs and theories about teaching and learning do not change” (Hawley & Valli, 2000, p. 4). This study analyzed the influence of a research experience for teachers on their beliefs and instruction. A qualitative approach was used to analyze the responses of 11 participants. This analysis revealed changes in the teachers’ beliefs about teaching and doing mathematics but did not provide sufficient data to connect particular beliefs and subsequent changes in practice. The findings showed that this program changed teachers’ beliefs about students' ability to do high-level mathematical tasks and their students' expectations. Also, participants stated that they used more explorations and discovery learning in their classroom after participation in this program.

AzimiAsmaroud.pdf (551 kB)
Azimi Asmaroud Poster

The Effect Of Research Experiences On Teachers' Belifes And Instruction