AuthorLehmann, Jane Nedine
Committee ChairAnders, Patricia L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study explores the relationship between university mathematics teachers' beliefs about the nature of reading mathematics and their practices regarding reading mathematics. It is a response to the calls for reform in mathematics education, particularly to the assertion made by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 1989 that not all students can read mathematical exposition effectively and that all students need instruction in how to read mathematics textbooks. It presupposes a collaboration between reading and mathematics teachers to help students learn to read mathematics. The objectives were (1) to examine mathematics teachers' beliefs and practices regarding reading, mathematics, and thereby, reading mathematics; (2) to determine whether the theoretical perspectives implicit in those beliefs and practices could be characterized vis-a-vis the theoretical orientations that inform Siegel, Borasi, and Smith's (1989) synthesis of mathematics and reading; and (3) to determine the relationship, if any, that exists between mathematics teachers' beliefs about reading mathematics and their practices regarding reading mathematics. The synthesis presents dichotomous views of both mathematics and reading: Mathematics is characterized as either a body of facts and techniques or a way of knowing; reading, as either a set of skills for extracting information from text, or a mode of learning. The latter view, in each case, can be characterized as constructivist. The researcher was a participant observer in a university sumner program. The primary participants were fourteen mathematics instructors. Interviews were conducted using a heuristic elicitation technique (Black & Metzger, 1969). Field notes were taken during observations of classroom activities and other non-academic summer program activities. The data were coded using a constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) comparative method. Twelve instructors held conceptions of reading that were consistent with their conceptions of mathematics. Of those twelve, two held conceptions that could be characterized as constructivist; ten held conceptions that were not constructivist. Two instructors held conceptions of reading that were not consistent with their conceptions of mathematics. Of those two, one held a constructivist conception of reading but not of mathematics; one held a constructivist conception of mathematics but not of reading. Teachers' practices reflected their theoretical orientations. The study has implications for teacher education: If teachers' beliefs are related to their practices, then teacher education programs should (1) acknowledge the teachers' existing beliefs and (2) address the theoretical orientations implicit in various aspects of pedagogy.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture