At-risk student teachers? attitudes and aspirations as learners and teachers of mathematics

20 Jul 2016

This study explored foundation phase first year student teachers? perceptions about mathematics. The focus on their attitudes towards mathematics in two roles ? (1) as learners of mathematics, based on their prior experiences at school and (2) as aspirant teachers of mathematics for children in the early grades. Data sources were students? drawings/collages as well as written interpretations and elaborations of the drawings/collages. The findings indicated that participants had generally negative attitudes towards the learning of mathematics. Factors such as the transition from primary to high school, teacher qualities and mathematics-related anxiety contributed to the shaping of their attitudes. It was encouraging to note that over half the participants expressed positive attitudes in their roles as future teachers, with all expressing the desire to provide better mathematics experiences to their future learners.