Latvian Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs on Mathematics Teaching

By Liene Kvedere.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teachers’ practices are affected by teachers’ beliefs about teaching. The current research aims to better understand the nature of Latvian 7th - 9th grade mathematics teachers’ beliefs about teaching mathematics and to link them with either traditional or constructivist teaching approach. To reach the aim, phenomenological interviews were conducted Four teachers were asked to express their beliefs about an ideal and the everyday mathematics teaching/learning process. As a result of the interpretative phenomenological analysis the main differences were noticed in the teachers’ beliefs about effective teaching methods and standard whereas the ideas about an ideal mathematics lesson and a student’s central role in teaching/learning process were similar. According to the teachers a good mathematics teacher should possess professional skills, appropriate personal characteristics and emotional intelligence. The analysis showed that Latvian mathematics teachers’ beliefs about teaching mathematics correspond more to constructivist than to traditional teaching approach. No differences were found as regards socio-demographic indicators, as place of living and teaching program realised at school. The study of mathematics teachers’ beliefs allows gives deeper insight into mathematics teaching/learning process and helps to find ways to improve it.

Keywords: Mathematics, Teachers, Beliefs

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.1-7. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 613.693KB).

Liene Kvedere

Doctoral Student, Pedagogy, Daugavpils University, Daugavpils, Latvia

Liene Kvedere: is a third year doctoral student at Daugavpils University in Latvia studying in the pedagogy program. She is writing her doctoral thesis in the sphere of mathematics education, investigating interconnection between the teaching approach used by mathematics teachers and 9th grade students' mathematical self-efficacy, self-concept, and anxiety, as well as their attitude toward mathematics and mathematicians. The research is done in the context of Latvian mathematics education.