id: 05913266
dt: j
an: 2011d.00156
au: Welder, Rachael M.; Champion, Joe
ti: Toward an understanding of graduate preservice elementary teachers as adult
learners of mathematics.
so: Adults Learn. Math. 6, No. 1, 20-40 (2011).
py: 2011
pu: Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM)
la: EN
cc: B50 C29
ut: preservice elementary teachers; graduate education; nontraditional teacher
preparation programs; educational research; attitudes
ci:
li:
ab: Summary: Career-switchers who are returning to university for training as
future elementary school teachers join an important and increasing
group of adult learners of mathematics. These graduate preservice
elementary teachers often place a high value on learning mathematics
because of its prominent role in their prospective careers, but their
learning often requires overcoming histories of personal struggles with
mathematics. This inquiry used a mixed methods designed and focused on
ten participantsâ€™ perceptions of their experiences as learners of
mathematics, anxiety regarding mathematics, and graduate mathematics
coursework. All of the participants left professional careers to join a
full-time graduate teacher preparation program in New York City.
Bridging research from adult education and teacher education, we
analysed interview transcripts, mathematics anxiety measures, and
survey data using mixed methods both qualitative and quantitative
research approaches. The findings show that, starting in adolescence,
and continuing into adulthood, participants described negative
experiences with exam performance, tracking, and instruction during
formal school mathematics. Participants perceived these struggles as
contributing to patterns of avoiding mathematics coursework and
experiencing moderate-to-high levels of test mathematics anxiety. In
spite of, or perhaps partly because of, their personal struggles with
mathematics, the participants described urgently wanting additional
high-quality mathematics preparation focused on upper-elementary
content, manipulative-based pedagogy, and current elementary
mathematics curricula.
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