Preservice Mathematics Teachers’ Perspectives of Mathematics during a Mathematical Letter Writing Exchange

Carey Ann Wilson, Holly Portia Anthony
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Abstract


The primary author interviewed participants individually and conducted a focus group interview with three preservice mathematics teachers (PSMTs) attending a southern university in this interpretive case study. The authors also gathered the preservice teachers’ final reflection papers related to a mathematical letter writing exchange (MLWE) in which they participated. The two research questions guiding this study were: 1. What were the PSMTs’ perceptions of value after participating in a MLWE with high school students? 2. How did PSMTs’ thinking about the qualities of a good mathematical task evolve as they participated in a MLWE? For this study, the primary author used open coding and inductively analyzed the interviews. In comparison, directed content analysis guided analysis of the reflection papers to determine the PSMTs’ perceived value of the mathematical letter writing exchange experience. Findings suggested that PSMTs should form strong relationships with students to help students become more confident in doing mathematics and, as a result, be more successful in fully engaging with mathematics. Also, explicit and implicit structures existed in the descriptions of a good mathematical task. For example, one intrinsic theme indicated that PSMTs should consistently prioritize mathematics in their feedback and discussions with students.


Keywords


Preservice mathematics teacher, Perceptions, Mathematical letter writing exchange, Mathematical task(s), Inductive analysis

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References


Wilson, C. A. & Anthony, H. P. (2022). Preservice mathematics teachers’ perspectives of mathematics during a mathematical letter writing exchange. International Journal of Studies in Education and Science (IJSES), 3(1), 1-15.


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