"<i>I Just Wouldn't Want to Get as Deep Into It</i>": Preservice Teachers' Beliefs about the Role of Controversial Topics in Mathematics Education
Keywords:preservice teacher beliefs, real-world contexts, social justice, teacher education
AbstractIn this article, the authors report on the initial results of a mixed methods approach to study the beliefs that preservice teachers have about teaching real-world contexts, including those related to injustices, controversial issues, and children's home and cultural backgrounds. Data collection included a survey with 92 preservice Pre-K--8 teachers, and follow-up interviews with nine survey participants. Analysis of the data suggests that preservice teachers were open to the idea of teaching mathematics through real-world contexts, but were ambivalent regarding the use of controversial issues, and often unable to provide concrete or non-trivial examples of what these different types of real-world contexts would look like in a mathematics classroom. Based on the survey and interview findings, the authors make recommendations for future research, and for the use of controversial issues in teacher education programs.
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