Investigation of Jordanian pre-service teachers' beliefs about learning and teaching of mathematics
This study investigated Jordanian pre-service teachers' beliefs about the learning and teaching of mathematics. One aim of the study was to identify possible explanations for why Jordanian students score much lower than many of their global counterparts on international mathematics tests. On the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Jordanian eighth-graders' average score was 427, far below the TIMSS scale average of 500. Jordan ranked 31st out of the 48 participating countries. On the 2011 TIMSS, Jordanian eighth-graders' average dropped to 406, and Jordan's overall ranking was 49th out of 56 participating countries and education systems. In addition to investigating Jordanian pre-service teachers' beliefs, the findings were compared to the findings from a similar study in South Korea (Kim, 2009), the top performing country in mathematics in 2011 and second overall in 2007 on the TIMSS assessments. The participants in this study were 441 pre-service teachers enrolled in 5 universities in Jordan, four public and one private. Participants' data were collected using a questionnaire survey, the same instrument that was used in the Korean study of 2009. Nearly 95% of the Jordanian participants believed in the existence of a mathematical mind indicating that they view mathematics ability as fixed or stable. Other strong beliefs were about the importance of memorization, gender, and mathematics ability. Specifically, 65% of the participants believed that the best way to learn mathematics was to memorize all the formulas, and nearly 70% believed that math ability was not associated with a specific gender. The comparison between Jordanian and Korean pre-service teachers produced significant results about the necessity for memorization and the belief in multiple methods for doing mathematics. Jordanian pre-service teachers believed strongly in the need to memorize in mathematics and in the existence of a single correct way to do mathematics. These are beliefs are not held by Korean pre-service teachers.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Mathematics beliefs instrument -- Appendix B. Background information instrument -- Appendix C. Yarmouk University results on mathematics belief instrument -- Appendix D. Mu'Tah University results on mathematics beliefs instrument -- Appendix E. Al-Bayt University results on mathematics beliefs instrument -- Appendix F. Jordan University results on mathematics beliefs instrument -- Appendix G. Jadara University results on mathematics beliefs instrument -- Appendix H. Researchers and researched beliefs