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'pre-service teachers' Search Results



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This article presents an international study that documented the conceptions of atomic models held by 1062 in-service high school science teachers from 58 countries. First, a previous study on pre-service science teachers’ conceptions of atomic models was successfully replicated as a pilot study with an international sample of in-service science teachers. Teachers’ conceptions were investigated by analysing their drawings of atomic models. Based on these results, a multiple-choice questionnaire was developed for the main study. This questionnaire collected data on teachers’ conceptions of atomic models, teachers’ knowledge about their students’ conceptions of atomic models, and teachers’ use of atomic models in the classroom. The results show that the teachers’ conceptions of atomic models are almost evenly distributed over six different atomic models. These models are the Bohr model, the Rutherford model, the probability model, the orbital model, the probability orbit model, and the wave model. The vast majority of teachers assume that their students’ conceptions are centred on two historical atomic models, namely the Bohr model and the Rutherford model. Furthermore, the majority of teachers prefer to use historical atomic models over modern atomic models in the classroom. However, the findings also highlight that the use of modern atomic models in the classroom is positively correlated with growing teaching experience, and that teachers’ conceptions of atomic models and their knowledge of students’ conceptions of atomic models significantly influence teachers’ classroom practice.

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10.12973/ejmse.1.2.67
Pages: 67-80
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Preservice mathematics teachers' beliefs about actions related to the use of the technological tools in teaching mathematics may affect how they are going to use them in their classroom activities. However, there is a limited evidence of what beliefs they hold on their intended actions of using technological tools in teaching mathematics. This study presents two preservice high school mathematics teachers' actional beliefs related to their intended actions in teaching geometric transformations (GTs) using Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP). The study comprised of a series of five task-based qualitative interviews with each of two senior undergraduate preservice teachers at a medium-sized public university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. This study used a radical constructivist grounded theory (RCGT) with five assumptions—symbiosis, voice, cognition, adaptation, and praxis as a theoretical framework to guide the study process. The thematic findings of the study included four in vivo categories of their beliefs associated with actions of teaching GTs with GSP – assessment of student learning, engaging students in a group activity in exploring GTs with GSP, engaging students in individual activity in exploring GTs with GSP, and exploring GTs with GSP as 'suck it up and do it.' Pedagogical implications of these categories have been discussed.

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10.12973/ejmse.1.2.91
Pages: 91-106
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In this paper, the categories and influence of teachers’ classroom characteristics relative to effective mathematics teaching in secondary schools in Plateau state, Nigeria were examined. The aim was to see how students are assisted to learn mathematics from teachers engaging fully their professional practices fully. Exploratory and descriptive survey research methods were used to examine the trajectories. Sample for the study consisted of 60 trained mathematics teachers from secondary schools in Plateau state that participated in a week-long capacity building workshop on teaching new concepts from secondary school mathematics curriculum in Nigeria organized recently by the state chapter of the Mathematics Association of Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the sample based on the fact that the study targeted only mathematics teachers that participated in the capacity building workshop. A 52-item TCCQ on teacher effectiveness, interest, rapport with students, etc. was used for data collection. The findings from the study revealed that mathematics teachers’ ability to teach effectively is significantly associated with many factors including the use of different strategies (χ2=52.75), revision (χ2=47.13), good lesson plans (χ2=53.93) and being friendly with students (χ2=35.66). There was no significant variation regarding how the characteristics influence teacher effectiveness based on qualification (F2, 58=0.689). Among other things, therefore, it was recommended that teachers should be committed to teaching mathematics effectively in the classroom by taking cognizance of the variables especially designing of good lesson plans and previous knowledge irrespective of their qualifications.

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10.12973/ejmse.1.2.121
Pages: 121-130
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The purpose of this paper is to report a part of a calculus research project, about the performance of a group of pre-service mathematics teachers on two tasks on limit and differentiation of the trigonometric sine function in which the unit of angle measurement was in degrees. Most of the pre-service teachers were not cognizant of the unit of angle measurement in the typical differentiation formula, and a number of participants recognized the condition on the unit of angle measurement but did not translate this to the correct procedure for performing differentiation. The result also shows that most of the participants were not able to associate the derivative formula with the process of deriving it from the first principle. Consequently, they did not associate it with finding  . In the process of evaluating this limit, the pre-service teachers exhibited further misconceptions about division of a number by zero.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.1.1
Pages: 1-12
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557
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This study aimed to develop a two-tiers diagnostic test to assess the high school, junior high school, and elementary pre-service teachers about the heat and the temperature concepts in a general physics course. There are two tiers in this test: The first tier composed of six items consisting of multiple-choice questions related to the heat and the temperature, including the correct answer. The second tier of each item contains reasons for students choosing their answer to the first tier. The second tier included four or five responses, one of which is a correct conceptual understanding. The wrong answers, also called distractors, were based on students’ misconceptions. To this end, 128 pre-service teachers from Quebec in Canada completed a pencil-paper questionnaire of sixty minutes duration composing of six questions (four open-ended questions and two multiple choice questions with justifications). As illustrations, the following  conceptual understandings have been identified in our qualitative analysis of the data collected: 1. The change of state of the matter does not require a constant temperature; 2.  The temperature is a measure in degrees to indicate the level of heat of an object or person; 3. The mercury contained in a thermometer expands when it is heated so that the particles which constitute it expand; and 4. The sensation of cold (or warm) is related to the difference in temperature.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.1.23
Pages: 23-34
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As international concerns about the prevalence of out-of-field teaching have grown, so have discussions about how to support out-of-field teachers. In Ireland, the Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching, a two-year professional development program, was created for out-of-field mathematics teachers. A pre-test, post-test, and final survey examined the program’s impact on participating teachers’ mathematical knowledge, confidence in teaching curricular content, and classroom practice. Findings offer evidence of development in participating teachers’ mathematical knowledge and self-efficacy after completing the program. They also raise important concerns about persistent weaknesses in participating teachers’ mathematical knowledge, particularly related to key areas of the curriculum.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.1.47
Pages: 47-62
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358
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In Nigeria, most teachers among other things lack the necessary teaching skills, and mastery of subject matter for effective teaching of mathematics at the secondary school level. These deficiencies have often resulted in high and repeated failure rates in national and standard mathematics examinations. The present study investigated the ability of mathematics teachers to construct practical and realistic word problems in bearing and distance toward mitigating the deficiencies. The research methods adopted were exploratory and descriptive surveys due to the need to explore and analyze the abilities using quantitative techniques. Sample consisted of 292 (35.48%) mathematics teachers who took part in the in-service training workshop organized by the Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Plateau state, Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the sample that involved the workshop participants only. The instrument ‘construction of practical and realistic word problems in bearing and distance test (CPRWPBDT)’ was used for data collection while the analysis was carried out using simple percentages, mean scores and one-way ANOVA. The findings of the study among other things revealed that the mathematics teacher participants constructed practical and realistic word problems in bearing and distance within 91.67% completion rate, 70.45% of the problems constructed were within the context, at least 75% rate of correctness with little difficulties/errors was observed in sketching (65.90%), and reality (40.90%). The variations observed within the participants in the construction of the problems were statistically not significant. Thus it was recommended among other things that mathematics teachers should undergo regular in-service workshop training to help in developing essential skills themselves for constructing practical/realistic word problems in bearing and distance; and should avoid unnecessary errors for meaningful teaching and learning of bearing and distance.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.1.35
Pages: 35-45
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Exploring Zimbabwean A-Level Mathematics Learners’ Understanding of the Determinant Concept

linear algebra matrix and determinant understanding

Conilius Chagwiza , Lillias Hamufari Natsai Mutambara , Gladys Sunzuma


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Learners bring prior knowledge to their learning environments. This prior knowledge is said to have an effect on how they encode and later retrieve new information learned. This research aimed at exploring ‘A’ level mathematics learners’ understanding of the determinant concept of 3×3 matrices. A problem-solving approach was used to determine learners' conceptions and errors made in calculating the determinant. To identify the conceptions; a paper and pencil test, learner interviews, and learner questionnaires were used. Ten learners participated in the research and purposive sampling was used to select learners who are doing the syllabus 6042/2 Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC). Data was analyzed qualitatively through an analysis of each learners' problem-solving performance where common themes were identified amongst the learners’ work. Results from the themes showed that Advanced level learners faced some challenges in calculating the determinant of 3×3 matrices. Learners were having challenges with the place signs used in 3×3 matrices, especially when using the method of cofactors. The findings reveal that learners had low levels of engagement with the concepts and the abstract nature of the concepts was the major source of these challenges. The study recommends that; teachers should engage learners for lifelong learning and apply some mathematical definitions in real-world problems. Teachers should address the issues raised in this research during the teaching and learning process. In addition, teachers should engage learners more through seminars where learners get to mingle with others from other schools.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.2.85
Pages: 85-100
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Mathematics teaching efficacy is an important construct as confidence in one’s ability to teach influences teaching practices. This paper explores pre-service primary teachers’ mathematics teaching efficacy on entry to initial teacher education and the extent that pre-tertiary mathematics experiences and resultant beliefs affected their mathematics teaching efficacy. A mixed-methods approach combined the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (N=420) and qualitative interviews (N=30). The findings suggest medium personal mathematics teaching efficacy among participants with limited conceptions of what mathematics teaching involves. While uncertain regarding their immediate teaching ability, participants reported confidence regarding their potential. Mathematics teaching outcome expectancy was high; however, an undercurrent of conviction exists that external factors, most notably learners’ natural mathematical ability, are critical to student learning.

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10.12973/ejmse.3.1.17
Pages: 17-33
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The focus of this action research was to adapt Bruner’s 3-tier theory to enhance conceptual knowledge of teacher trainees on integer operations. It looks into how learners' conceptual knowledge of integer operations changes over time, as well as their attitudes toward using the 3-tier model. Eighty-two (82) teacher trainees, who were in their first year semester one of the 2020/2021 academic year were purposely selected for the study. Data was collected using test and semi-structured interviews. The study found that using Bruner’s 3-tier theory contributed to substantial gains in conceptual knowledge on integers operations among learners.  It was also found that learners proffered positive compliments about the Concrete-Iconic-Symbolic (C-I-S) construct of lesson presentation and how it built their understanding to apply knowledge on integers operations. Learners also largely proffered positive image about C-I-S construct as it aroused interest and activated unmotivated learners. On these bases, the study concludes that lessons presentations should mirror C-I-S construct in order to alleviate learning difficulties encountered on integer operations. To do this, the study suggests that workshops on lesson presentation using C-I-S construct be organized for both subject tutors, mentors and lead mentors to re-equip their knowledge and to buy-in the idea among others.

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10.12973/ejmse.3.2.61
Pages: 61-77
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This paper reports an exploratory study on the pre-service teachers’ content knowledge on school calculus. A calculus instrument assessing the pre-service teachers’ iconic thinking, algorithmic thinking and formal thinking related to various concepts in school calculus was administered to a group of pre-service mathematics teachers. Their performance on five of the items is reported in this paper. Other than their good performance in the iconic recognition of stationary points, their recognition on points of inflexion, differentiability and notion of minimum points was relatively poor. In addition, they appeared to lack the algorithmic flexibility in testing the nature of stationary points and the formal thinking about definition of an extremum point. The implications of the findings are discussed.  

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10.12973/ejmse.3.2.91
Pages: 91-103
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A Study of Students’ Self-Efficacy in Mathematics Performance Based on Bugis Ethnicity and Gender

bugis ethnic gender mathematics performance self-efficacy

Syamsu Alam , Mega Teguh Budiarto , Tatag Yuli Eko Siswono


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The study on mathematical performance was significant enough to be studied further to measure students' self-efficacy. Although studies on student self-efficacy in math performance from a gender perspective were abundant, studies on this relationship from the perspectives of ethnic culture and gender were scarce. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the self-efficacy of Bugis Junior High School students in solving math problems based on gender. The researchers used an algebra problem in the context of the Bugis ethnic culture. For this data set, two of 25 students at a public junior high school in Bone, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, were interviewed based on ethnicity and gender. Qualitatively, the triangulation technique was employed for data analysis. The study results revealed that male students outperformed girls in terms of self-efficacy, namely magnitude, strength, and generality, in math performance. Furthermore, female students had lower self-efficacy in terms of confidence, supportive experience in completing math tasks, and confidence in their ability to complete math tasks in similar or different contexts, compared to male students, who had higher self-efficacy. This result provided new knowledge by exploring the characteristics of students' self-efficacy by integrating ethnicity and gender.

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10.12973/ejmse.3.2.155
Pages: 155-170
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The current study investigated whether: (1) using an interactive presentation (IP) platform could affect the amount of usage of the practices of making orchestrating mathematical discourse- sequencing and connecting students' responses. (2) using an interactive presentation (IP) platform could affect the amount of narratives constructed by students. Fifty seventh-grade students participated in the study; those students were divided into control and experimental groups. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed based on voice recordings and field notes. The results revealed that the teacher using (IP) asked nearly three times more questions that connected students’ responses (i.e., questions that involved valuing students' ideas, exploring students' answers, incorporating students’ background knowledge, and encouraging student-to-student communication). We also saw that the students participated in the learning processes. The students in the experimental group presented three times as many narratives as those in the control group. We present several excerpts from the transcripts of the classroom discussions to illustrate our findings. Discussion of the implications and limitations of these results and make recommendations based on those results.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.1.1
Pages: 1-17
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Numerical literacy refers to the knowledge and ability to use various numbers and basic mathematical symbols to solve problems, while math self-concept means the assessment of students’ skills, abilities, enjoyment, and interest in the subject. However, children with special needs and normal students in inclusive Elementary Schools are yet to sufficiently acquire learning that accommodates literacy and maths self-concept. This causes a need for the implementation of a children-friendly learning process. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the factors influencing the numeracy level and math self-concept, and also explore the obstacles in implementing children-friendly learning in order to facilitate students’ abilities. A qualitative method was applied because of in-depth data exploration regarding children with special needs, while the utilized instruments include tests, questionnaires, and interviews. Both the data collected and the analysis are qualitative, which are obtained through excavation, identification, and description. Consequently, this paper was able to (a) describe the factors influencing the numeracy level and math self-concept in inclusive elementary schools; (b) explore the barriers to implementing children-friendly learning; and (c) identify the relationship between students’ numeracy and math self-concept.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.1.19
Pages: 19-27
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The diversity of definitions of science literacy has resulted in a diversity of measurement tools. However, adult science literacy is mainly assessed on short standardized and non-contextualized questions, thus making the study of adult science literacy more qualitative than quantitative. Here we describe the rationale, development, and validation of a questionnaire that associates the use of science in the specific science-related setting of parents of hard of hearing children with general and topic-specific science knowledge. The questionnaire went through four developmental steps: (1) gathering input from hearing rehabilitation experts and parents, (2) testing the close-ended questionnaire (n=10), (3) open-ended questionnaire (n=24), (4) online close-ended questionnaire (n=91). These all assessed general science knowledge, contextual science knowledge in the field of hearing and parents' advocacy knowledge and attitudes. These steps and the resulting assessment tool can thus inform the further development of measures of adult science literacy in context. The findings suggest that although general science knowledge enables the application of science to everyday science-related problems it only explained a small proportion of the variance in contextual science knowledge. Thus, the results strongly point to the importance of measuring adults' science literacy in a context that is relevant to the responders. The findings also underscored the disappointing outcomes of secondary science education, in that formal scientific background predicted general science knowledge but did not account for contextual science knowledge at all. This should elicit concern as to the ability of students to use science knowledge in future personally important science related contexts.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.1.29
Pages: 29-47
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This paper reports on part of an ongoing large-scale research on the need to improve science teaching and learning through investigating the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of biology teachers for the topic Biodiversity. Six factors have been seen to affect teacher PCK, i.e., content knowledge, knowledge of students, science teaching orientations, knowledge of assessment, knowledge of instructional strategies and knowledge of the curriculum. This research aimed to examine the teacher’s level of content knowledge (CK). A qualitative research paradigm was adopted, and a case study research design used. The case (unit of analysis) was Biology teacher CK, and the subjects were the four teacher participants purposively selected. Lesson observations, teacher interviews and learner questionnaires were used to collect data on teacher CK. A content knowledge analytical framework consisting of five constructs was designed and used to analyse the teacher CK and data triangulated with data collected from interviews and questionnaires. This research revealed that ‘A’ level Biology teachers’ CK vary from teacher to teacher depending on several factors which include teacher identity, planning, workshopping, and motivation among others. Of the four Biology teacher participants, two had adequate CK and the other two exhibited inadequate CK. Inadequate CK was attributed to lack of planning, non-exposure to workshops and lack of teacher motivation. Consequently, this research recommends supervision of teachers from school level to national level, a series of teacher workshops on the demands of the competence-based curriculum and constructive teacher identity as well as introduce factors that enhance teacher motivation. Further research on the content knowledge of Biology teachers in other learning areas is recommended.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.1.49
Pages: 49-63
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Many research studies have been conducted on students’ or pre-service teachers’ geometric thinking, but there is a lack of studies investigating in-service teachers’ geometric thinking. This paper presents a case study of two high school teachers who attended the dynamic geometry (DG) professional development project for three years. The project focused on the effective use of dynamic geometry software to improve students’ geometry learning. The two teachers were interviewed using a task-based interview protocol about the relationship between two triangles. The interviews, including the teachers' work, were videotaped, transcribed, and analyzed based on the three levels of geometric thinking: recognition, analysis, and deduction. We found that the participating teachers manifested their geometric skills and thinking in constructing, exploring, and conjecturing in the DG environment. The study suggests that the DG environment provides an effective platform for examining teachers' geometric skills, and levels of geometric thinking and encourages inductive explorations and deductive skill development.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.1.65
Pages: 65-78
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This study tested hypotheses of a hypothetical model determining the influence of teacher clarity and real-world applications while teaching group theory concepts on students’ achievement in modern algebra. The data collected from 139 undergraduate students were analyzed by regression analysis using Stata14’s structural equation model building and estimation. The path regression analysis of the model using SEM model building and estimation confirmed the research hypotheses. First, the utilization of real-world application problems while teaching group theory concepts has a significant influence on students’ achievement in modern algebra. Second, the clear presentation of group theory concepts by the teacher has a significant influence on students’ achievement in modern algebra. Finally, both teachers’ clear presentation of group theory concepts and utilization of its real-world applications have a significant influence on students’ achievement in modern algebra.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.2.111
Pages: 111-119
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Teaching Science Out-of-field: Beliefs and Practices

boundary crossing constructivist beliefs out-of-field science teaching process beliefs

Coral Campbell , Colleen Vale , Chris Speldewinde


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Out-of-field teaching in science is a phenomenon in many secondary schools across the world. While the reasons for out-of-field teaching are complex, its incidence is heightened in low socio-economic communities and in regional and remote school locations. Research on out-of-field science teaching in secondary schools has tended to focus on teacher competence, particularly in relation to pedagogical content knowledge. However, while teachers’ beliefs and teaching practices within their specialist subject are shown to be related, it is unclear how teachers’ beliefs and practices alter when teaching across subject boundaries. Using a boundary-crossing lens, where teachers engage in passing back and forth between different contexts, this study explored the relationship between teachers’ beliefs about their in-field and out-of-field discipline (science) and the connections to their teaching practice. Interview data, including a video-stimulated interview of a lesson in a teacher’s specialist field and then a subsequent out-of-field lesson, were analysed using the framework of a belief that investigated the relationships between in-field and out-of-field beliefs and practices. Findings indicate that those who teach science out-of-field revert to traditional ways of teaching, despite being more open and adventurous in their in-field discipline areas. However, there were significant instances of boundary crossing with their pedagogy to support their teaching – both in-field and out-of-field. These findings support the development of structured mechanisms and strategies to assist teachers to cross boundaries to establish new and unique interdisciplinary practices.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.2.133
Pages: 133-148
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Preservice elementary teachers have had a variety of experiences in their math classes which influence their willingness to engage in math as well as their confidence in doing so. This study examined the responses of two sets of preservice elementary teachers, in 2017 and in 2022, to questions about their "best" and "worst" experiences in math classes. Previous research has seldom asked preservice elementary teachers to examine what they do as students to create a better math experience and research is only now beginning on how COVID-19 may have affected student behavior. Inductive analysis revealed that the emotional intelligence of teachers greatly affected preservice elementary teachers' willingness to meaningfully engage in math. For example, a recurring theme in the data was a strong sense of not wanting to appear dumb, which prevented the students from asking questions or seeking help when needed. This study demonstrates that the classroom environment plays a significant role in preservice elementary teachers' success in math, confidence and comfort level with the subject, and, undoubtedly, how they will eventually teach math to their future students.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.3.161
Pages: 161-168
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