Attitudes of Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers towards Modelling: A South African Inquiry

Jacobs, Gerrie J.; Durandt, Rina
January 2017
Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education;Jan2017, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p61
Academic Journal
This study explores the attitudes of mathematics pre-service teachers, based on their initial exposure to a model-eliciting challenge. The new Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement determines that mathematics students should be able to identify, investigate and solve problems via modelling. The unpreparedness of mathematics teachers in teaching modelling is widely recognized. Modelling was thus included for the first time in the mathematics education curriculum of a South African university. Based on their modelling exposure, the participants revealed their attitudes via an Attitudes towards Mathematics Modelling Inventory. The Mann Whitney U-test detected significant differences between gender and achievement groups. Most participants displayed positive attitudes towards modelling, even after this brief exposure. The main implications of the study are that the modelling competencies of mathematics pre-service-teachers could be strengthened during their formal education by lecturers that adopt an appropriate modelling pedagogy that takes cognizance of their attitudes, while gradually building their confidence.


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