Teachers' beliefs and practices related to mathematics instruction

Deborah Stipek, Karen B Givvin, Julie M Salmon, Valanne L MacGyvers
Year of Publication: 
Teaching and Teacher Education

Beliefs and practicesrelated to mathematics were assessed for 21 fourth- through sixth-grade teachers. At the beginning and the end of the school year teachers’ beliefs about (1) the nature of mathematics (i.e., procedures to solve problems versus a tool for thought), (2) mathematics learning (i.e., focusing on getting correct solutions versus understanding mathematical concepts), (3) who should control students’ mathematical activity, (4) the nature of mathematical ability (i.e., fixed versus malleable), and (5) the value of extrinsic rewards for getting students to engage in mathematics activities were assessed. (6) Teachers self-confidence and enjoyment of mathematics and mathematics teaching were also assessed. Analyses were conducted to assess the coherence among these beliefs and associations between teachers’ beliefs and their observed classroom practices and self-reported evaluation criteria. Findings showed substantial coherence among teachers’ beliefs and consistent associations between their beliefs and their practices. Teachers’ self-confidence as mathematicsteachers was also significantly associated with their students’ self-confidence as mathematical learners.

APA Citation

Stipek, D., & Givvin, K., Salmon, J., & MacGyvers, V. (2001). Teachers' beliefs and practices related to mathematics instruction. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(2), 213-226.