Browsing by Author "Austin, Jathan"
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ItemProspective teachers' personal mathematics teacher efficacy beliefs and mathematical knowledge for teaching(2015) Austin, JathanThe purposes of this study were as follows: (1) To examine how K-8 prospective teachers’ personal mathematics teacher efficacy beliefs vary when they are measured in the context of four written mathematical teaching scenarios, and (2) To examine the extent to which K-8 prospective teachers’ personal mathematics teacher efficacy beliefs and mathematical knowledge for teaching are aligned. Forty-two prospective teachers participated in the study. Participants were first asked to respond to four written mathematical teaching scenarios that required responding, as a teacher, to student questions about fraction concepts. Prospective teachers then evaluated how effective they believed their responses would be for developing student understanding. Approximately two weeks later, participants were asked to write mathematical explanations for four written mathematical tasks that paralleled the teaching scenarios and were then asked to evaluate their own mathematical understanding of each task. Different patterns emerged based on whether prospective teachers exhibited high or low mathematical knowledge for teaching on a particular task. Additionally, reported self-evaluations of mathematical knowledge for teaching were helpful for understanding the nature of prospective teachers’ personal teacher efficacy beliefs. ItemThe role of contextual factors in understanding mathematics teacher efficacy beliefs(2013) Austin, JathanThe purpose of this article is to argue for a more nuanced view of mathematics teacher efficacy beliefs as a construct. I argue that most researchers studying teacher efficacy assert that teachers should display a strong sense of teacher efficacy, even though the ways teacher efficacy beliefs are often measured are not specific to any content area. This belief apparently is based on the assumption that a strong sense of teacher efficacy results in more effective teaching. Other explanatory variables (e.g., teachers’ content knowledge for teaching and the content to be taught) are important contextual factors affecting teacher efficacy beliefs. I argue that these too often have been neglected in the existing literature. An understanding of the effects of these contextual factors can help reveal why advocating a strong sense of teacher efficacy is too simple a prescription for improving teaching.