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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conceptions of teaching mathematics: the ideas of six pre-service secondary mathematics teachers Lee, Rosalind Chui Mei


"I am a math teacher." This simple statement evokes a plethora of images. Elucidating pre-service teachers' personal meanings for this statement adds to the knowledge base for teacher education. Knowing their own beliefs and ideas about teaching also provides teacher candidates a basis from which to consider alternative conceptions. In this investigation, six pre-service teachers of secondary- mathematics were interviewed about their ideas of teaching mathematics at the conclusion of their extended practicum. Al l had bachelor's degrees with a mathematics specialty; three had pursued graduate study in pure or applied mathematics. Results show all six teacher candidates had different conceptions of teaching mathematics. Some emphasized the content of mathematics; others emphasized mathematical processes. Some gave priority in their teaching perspective to student development and cognitive skills. Those who had studied graduate level mathematics expressed a desire to make math interesting and stimulating for students. Results support the constructivist ideas that conceptions are personally formed and past experiences are influential in shaping them.

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