Date of Award

5-21-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Speaker, Richard

Second Advisor

Bedford-Whatley, April

Third Advisor

Gifford, Charles

Fourth Advisor

Longstreet, Wilma

Fifth Advisor

Germaine-McCarthy, Yvelyne

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to ascertain pre-service teachers' perceptions of the defining aspects of a mathematics methods course that aided in the development of a conceptual understanding of mathematics. These perceptions emerge from the narratives of four pre-service teachers in a mid-size metropolitan university in the southeastern part of the United States. Grounded in the theory of constructivism this study focuses on the educational experiences of pre-service teachers, as reported by pre-service teachers, creating a portrait of their journey. These pre-service teachers' learning experiences were based on national standards with a constructivist instructional approach and included field experience in a school environment. Analysis of the data revealed that pre-service teachers attributed their increase in conceptual understanding of mathematics to 'touching/doing activities' that required them to 'explain why'. Use of models and manipulatives aided in helping the pre-service teachers verify and justify their solutions to others, providing concrete items to use in explaining abstract concepts. Ultimately, requiring pre-service to explain their own thought processes, with and without manipulatives, aided them in developing a conceptual understanding of mathematics.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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