An attitudinal snapshot of pre-service secondary mathematics teachers

Prendergast, M., Ríordáin, M. N., Shúilleabháin, A. N., Johnson, P. and O’rourke, I. (2020) An attitudinal snapshot of pre-service secondary mathematics teachers. Issues in Educational Research, 30 (1). pp. 283-301.


A teacher’s attitude towards a subject has a major influence on their learning and subsequent teaching of that subject. This has a knock-on effect on the development of their own students’ attitudes. However, despite such importance there has been a dearth of research in this area, particularly in relation to the attitudes of pre-service secondary teachers of mathematics. Thus, the aim of this study is to quantify the attitudes of this cohort of teachers at the beginning of their initial teacher education (ITE) program. The participants in the study are pre-service teacher cohorts (N = 98) from four Irish universities who are enrolled in a postgraduate ITE program, known as the Professional Master of Education (PME). Six sub-scales of the overall Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales (FSMAS) were used to gain a quantitative measure of participants’ attitudes towards the subject as they embarked on their ITE. The FSMAS scores were strongly positive, although the results of the mathematics anxiety and teacher subscales were notably lower in comparison to the others. Further analysis was carried out to identify affecting factors, particularly in relation to these two low-ranking subscales. © 2020, Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc.. All rights reserved.

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