Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Student teachers--Training of; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary); Self-efficacy;


Although student-centered mathematics instruction, rooted in constructivism (NCTM, 2014), enhances students’ deep understanding of mathematics, many teachers fail to implement this approach, continuing to use more traditional, procedural instruction (Paolucci, 2015). One reason for these difficulties may be related to their teaching selfefficacy, or a person’s beliefs about their ability to complete a task. Wyatt’s (2016) expanded teacher self-efficacy model incorporates the reflective cycle and emphasizes the importance of reflection in the development of teacher self-efficacy.

This study explored whether encouraging reflection in pre-service teachers may indirectly increase their use of student-centered methods in mathematics by increasing their self-efficacy. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to investigate the effects of an intervention involving extended reflective activities about mathematics instruction, with the goal of enhancing preservice teachers’ mathematics teaching self-efficacy and use of student-centered mathematics instruction as demonstrated in lesson plans. Over an 8- week period, preservice teachers were asked to engage in reflection through the use of reflective prompts after watching videos of teachers implementing student-centered mathematics instruction. These prompts focus on student understanding and the role the teacher plays in this development. Video reflections, lesson plans, lesson plan reflections, open-ended mathematics teaching efficacy responses, and course reflections were analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis.

Following the intervention, four themes were central across data sources: 1). Greater focus on students, specifically student understanding and student strategies; 2). shift in focus teachers to their role in developing student understanding; 3). change in understanding of mathematics instruction and what it means to teach and develop mathematical understanding, and; 4). expressed confidence in their ability to use studentcentered instruction and develop students’ mathematical understanding.

A shift in mathematics teaching self-efficacy and expressed confidence in course reflections following the intervention may provide insight on the development and possible sources for PSTs’ mathematics teaching efficacy; increasing mathematics teaching efficacy is important as it may increase teachers’ willingness to try new instructional strategies, such as student-centered mathematics (Chatzistamatiou et al., 2014; Ross & Bruce, 2007; Zee & Koomen, 2016). The shifts observed in this study add to the literature in the mathematics education community as it can inform educators about how to develop preservice teachers’ thinking and shift their reflection to focus on their students which is key to student-centered mathematics instruction.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Elana Joram, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xi, 164 pages)



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