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Title

Mathematica-Based Mathematics for Elementary Teachers: The Role of Student Attitudes and Beliefs in an Experimental Course
Author

P. Glidden
Journal / Anthology

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education
Year: 1995
Volume: 3
Issue: 2/3
Page range: 189-204
Description

All major reform documents in mathematics education have called for improving preservice elementary teachers' expertise in using computer technology as a tool for inquiry to promote investigating change, searching for patterns, and making and testing conjectures. Student attitudes and beliefs are two factors that affect their acquisition of this expertise. This paper reports a case study of preservice elementary teachers' attitudes and beliefs in a course that used Mathematica to teach concepts of the calculus through experimentation. The major finding of this study is that many preservice elementary teachers have little understanding that doing or learning mathematics includes investigating change, searching for patterns, and making and testing conjectures. Furthermore, even after completing a sequence of mathematical experiments, these students had difficulty seeing the intended patterns and consequently did not make the correct generalizations. Nevertheless, these students were able to learn important calculus concepts, and after the course, they showed significant and positive (p <0.05) changes in attitudes and beliefs, where were confirmed through interview data.
Subject

*Education