Volume 26 Issue 1

Making a Difference:  Increasing Elementary Pre-Service Teachers’ Self-Efficacy in Mathematics

Jodie L. Brinkmann

Institutions of Higher Education across the United States strive to improve the quality of teacher preparation programs. The institution where this study took place discovered an acute problem when preservice teachers were completing practicum-embedded mathematics coursework during a senior level practicum experience. Preservice teachers reported varying levels of self efficacy in mathematics and self-efficacy in teaching mathematics, which presented significant challenges when working with elementary students in their field placements. The focus of this study was to investigate how teacher preparation programs can better prepare preservice teachers to teach mathematics in an elementary classroom. By more closely examining preservice teachers’ self- efficacy in mathematics and examining specific strategies for increasing self-efficacy in teaching mathematics, teacher preparation programs can be more informed and bolster self-efficacy of teaching candidates. Findings from this study suggest growth in both participants’ self-efficacy in mathematics and in teaching mathematics. These findings can shed light on how institutions of higher education can best prepare preservice teachers to be successful in an elementary mathematics classroom. This study can also be used as evidence of how universities use research to drive program development and improvements, which closely align with CAEP standards and expectations.

Chinese Teachers Perceptions of School Family Collaboration: A Study of Elementary Schools in Zhejiang Province

Zhiding Shu

The purpose of this study is to investigate Chinese teachers’ perceptions on school and family collaboration. This is a descriptive study with mainly a quantitative approach to solicit the perceptions of seventy-five Chinese teachers toward collaborative effort between the school and the family. The findings of this study clearly indicated that Chinese teachers understood the importance of parental involvement to student success and that they planned to work with parents to foster a positive environment in support of school and family collaboration. It is recommended that a school-initiated comprehensive school and family collaboration plan be developed to accomplish higher efficiency and effectiveness.

Incorporating Social Events into School Curriculum:  How it Relates to Student Growth

Dehua Liu and Xianghua Tan

Current events happening in society have direct impact on the physiological and
psychological development of students in primary and secondary schools. Incorporating social events into primary and secondary school teaching could enhance student learning activities, increase their ability of social recognition, adaptation and contribution to society. Significant attention needs to be paid to selecting social events to fit into meaningful themes which are structured around a set of systematic concepts. Educational and psychological considerations need to be taken in incorporating social events in class activities. Students need to be prepared to assume their role recognition and critical thinking in their involvement of discussion in social events.