Noticing Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes Toward Mathematics in Traditional and Online Classrooms

Noticing Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes Toward Mathematics in Traditional and Online Classrooms

Molly H. Fisher (University of Kentucky, USA), Cindy Jong (University of Kentucky, USA), Jonathan Thomas (University of Kentucky, USA) and Edna O. Schack (Morehead State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3068-8.ch008


This chapter describes the implementation of a traditional (face-to-face) and an online module aimed at developing preservice elementary teachers' (PSETs') professional noticing skills and the extent to which participation in these modules affected their attitudes toward mathematics. Using the Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory (ATMI; Tapia & Marsh, 2004), statistical analyses revealed significant increases in each of the instrument's four factors (value, enjoyment, motivation, and self-confidence) for those enrolled in a traditional experience, while the online participants experienced significant change in only two factors (enjoyment and self-confidence). Overall, both groups experienced significant improvements in attitudes toward mathematics with no significant differences in the changes between the two groups.
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Research exploring mathematics teacher professional noticing has experienced exponential growth following the work of Jacobs, Lamb, and Philipp (2010) and Sherin, Jacobs, and Philipp (2011). Broadly speaking, professional noticing is an ability to recognize and act on key indicators significant to one’s profession. In the area of mathematics education, such noticing typically involves the enactment of key skills aimed at facilitating an instructional environment that is responsive to students’ mathematical needs and development (Jacobs, Lamb, & Philipp, 2010). More specifically, professional noticing has been examined with respect to classroom teaching practices (Sherin & van Es, 2009), preparation and planning (Santagata, 2011), and teacher knowledge (Thomas, Jong, Fisher, & Schack, 2014) to identify just a few examples of the breadth of research in this area. Germane to the inquiry described in this paper is the manner in which professional noticing relates to attitudes and if the relationship varies depending upon the delivery mode of the professional noticing instruction. It has long been argued that teachers’ attitudes and beliefs are an important part of the way teachers understand mathematics (Jong & Hodges, 2015; Ball, 1990; McLeod, 1994; Schoenfeld, 2011). As changes to postsecondary systems advance towards experiences that are increasingly mediated by technology, examinations of the relationships between professional noticing experiences and attitudes toward mathematics across varying instructional contexts is warranted. Towards that end, this study addresses the following research questions:

  • 1.

    To what extent does participation in a professional noticing module influence preservice elementary teachers’ (PSETs’) attitudes toward mathematics?

  • 2.

    How does participation in a professional noticing module in varied learning environments (face-to-face or online) influence PSETs’ attitudes toward mathematics?

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