Episode 36: Supporting Prospective Teachers in Problem Solving: Incorporating Mindset Messaging to Overcome Math Anxiety
February 8th, 2022 | Season 9 | 29 mins 39 secs
mathematical mindset; math anxiety; elementary prospective teachers; growth mindset; problem solving
Prospective and practicing elementary teachers have historically demonstrated anxiety about mathematics, which can affect their mathematics teaching and their students’ math anxiety. Yet, developing productive dispositions prior to teacher preparation programs is rarely addressed in the research. We propose mindset messaging in mathematics courses as an intervention to influence prospective teachers’ (PSTs’) self-reported mathematical mindsets and math anxiety.
Survey results indicated shifts toward growth mindsets and decreases in math anxiety. Further analysis of PSTs’ written responses suggests that mindset messaging may support
PSTs in overcoming math anxiety, and that perseverance during problem solving is critical for PSTs’ mathematical improvement. Additionally, some PSTs connected course experiences to future mathematics teaching practices. Results propose MTEs might consider explicitly offering mindset messaging in mathematics courses.
August 12th, 2019 | Season 2 | 25 mins 29 secs
field experiences; mentoring; prospective teachers; student teaching; teacher noticing
Teachers and mathematics teacher education scholars have identified field experiences and quality mentoring as influential components of math teacher preparation and development. Yet, quality mentoring is a complex and demanding practice. Providing educative feedback to novices, particularly that which encourages reflection versus evaluation, can be challenging work for mentors. To study the potential of an intervention for providing professional development for mentors, I worked with pairs of mentors and prospective teachers (PSTs) offering Smith’s (2009) noticing and wondering language as a way of structuring mentoring conversations that maintain both descriptive and interpretive analytic stances. Analysis of before and after conversations provided evidence of how mentor-PST pairs adopted noticing and wondering language, and in particular illuminated the ways in which the language structure might support interpretive mentoring conversations for studying teaching. The results suggest that mathematics teacher educators may want to consider what makes wondering challenging work and how to best support wondering in educative mentoring conversations.