Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanovic, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Janet Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward Fletcher, Ph.D.


elementary preservice teachers, mathematics education, teacher beliefs, teacher preparation


Producing highly skilled elementary mathematics teachers capable of facilitating mathematics learning in ways aligned with The Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000) and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), is a common objective of teacher preparation programs (National Governors Association & Chief Council of State School Officers, 2010). After decades of effort, Brown (2003) argues, teachers continue to teach in the way they were taught; thus, they disregard mathematics standards. As Abell, Appleton, and Hanuscin (2010) note, students’ preexisting ideas relevant to the nature of learning and teaching stem from experiences in their schooling, life, and formal classes. Specifically, related to mathematics, these experiences often reflect the difficulty in learning mathematics, fear of mathematics, and consequently, a dislike for the subject (Abell et al., 2010; Wilson, 2014). These preconceived beliefs influence how preservice teachers (PSTs) perceive subject matter. Beliefs also impact the decisions they make about teaching and learning mathematics. In this exploratory descriptive case-study I investigated in what ways three PSTs describe their experiences as K-12 mathematics learners, how the PSTs perceive their abilities to teach mathematics prior to participating in an introductory elementary mathematics methods course, how the PSTs perceive their abilities to teach mathematics after participating in an introductory elementary mathematics methods course, and what catalysts, relative to their experiences, do the PSTs consider noteworthy in the development of their beliefs and concurrent pedagogy about teaching mathematics to elementary students. I utilized constant comparative methods (Strauss and Corbin, 1998; Denzin and Lincoln, 1994; Strauss, 1987; Miles and Huberman, 1984) to analyze the data and identify overarching themes related to the goals of the study.

Included in

Mathematics Commons