# Pre-service Mathematics Teachers’ Knowledge of History of Mathematics and Their Attitudes and Beliefs Towards Using History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education

- 1k Downloads
- 2 Citations

## Abstract

This study examined pre-service mathematics teachers’ knowledge of history of mathematics and their attitudes and beliefs towards using history of mathematics in mathematics education based on year level in teacher education program and gender. The sample included 1,593 freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior pre-service middle school (grades 4–8) mathematics teachers from nine universities in Turkey. Data were collected through Knowledge of History of Mathematics Test and Attitudes and Beliefs towards the Use of History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education Questionnaire. Results indicate that pre-service teachers have moderate knowledge of history of mathematics and positive attitudes and beliefs towards using history of mathematics. Their knowledge scores increase as the year level in teacher education program advanced. Males’ knowledge scores are significantly higher than females’ scores in the first 2 years. This situation reverses in the last 2 years, but it is not statistically significant. Pre-service teachers have more positive attitudes and availing beliefs towards using history of mathematics as they progress in their teacher education program. Females have greater attitudes and beliefs mean scores than males in each of the years. The results indicate that the teacher education program may have enhanced the pre-service teachers’ knowledge of history of mathematics by related courses. However, the moderate knowledge scores indicate that there is a need for revision of these courses. The pre-service teachers’ positive attitudes and beliefs towards using history of mathematics stress the importance of teacher education program in order to prepare them for implementing this alternative strategy in the future.

## Keywords

Mathematics Education Mathematics Teacher Teacher Education Program Mathematics Classroom Middle Grade## Notes

### Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Kathleen Michelle Clark for assisting with language revision of this paper. This study was conducted through the financial support of The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and Faculty Development Programme (OYP) in Turkey. The ideas presented in this paper reflect the authors’ ideas.

## References

- Aiken, L. R. (1976). Update on attitudes and other affective variables in learning mathematics.
*Review of Educational Research,**46*(2), 293–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ajzen, I. (2001). Nature and operation of attitudes.
*Annual Review of Psychology,**52*, 27–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Alpaslan, M., & Haser, C. (2012). “History of Mathematics” course for pre-service mathematics teachers: A case study. Paper presented at Topic Study Group 20 at ICME-12. http://icme12.org/sub/tsg/tsg_last_view.asp?tsg_param=20. Accessed November 18, 2012.
- Alpaslan, M., Işıksal, M., & Haser, C. (2011a). The development of attitudes and beliefs questionnaire towards using history of mathematics in mathematics education. In M. Pytlak, T. Rowland, & E. Swoboda (Eds.).
*Proceedings of the Seventh Congress of The European Society for Research in Mathematics Education*(*CERME*-*7*) (pp. 1660–1669). Rzeszow, Poland: University of Rzeszow.Google Scholar - Alpaslan, M., Işıksal, M., & Haser, C. (2011b). Development of knowledge test on the history of mathematics. In B. Ubuz (Ed.).
*Proceedings of The Thirty Fifth Conference of The International Group for The Psychology of Mathematics Education*(*PME*-*35*) (p. 245). Ankara, Turkey: PME.Google Scholar - Bagni, G. T. (2008). A theorem and its different proofs: History, mathematics education and the semiotic-cultural perspective.
*Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education,**8*(3), 217–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ball, D. L. (1990). The mathematical understandings that prospective teachers bring to teacher education.
*The Elementary School Journal,**90*(4), 449–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Callahan, W. J. (1971). Adolescent attitudes towards mathematics.
*Mathematics Teacher,**64*, 751–755.Google Scholar - Caraisco-Alloggiamento, J. D. (2008).
*A comparison of the mathematics achievement, attributes, and attitudes of fourth*-*, sixth*-*, and eight*-*grade students*. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, St. John’s University, New York.Google Scholar - Clark, K. (2012). History of mathematics: Illuminating understanding of school mathematics concepts for prospective mathematics teachers.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**81*(1), 67–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Cohen, J. (1988).
*Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences*(2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar - Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2000).
*Research methods in education*(5th ed.). London: Routledge Falmer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Council of Higher Education (CHE). (2007a).
*Öğretmen yetiştirme ve eğitim fakülteleri (1982–2007): Öğretmenin üniversitede yetiştirilmesinin değerlendirilmesi [Teacher training and faculties of education (1982–2007): Assessment of teacher training at university]*. Ankara: Meteksan.Google Scholar - Council of Higher Education (CHE). (2007b). İlköğretim matematik öğretmenliği lisans program ders içerikleri. Resource document. http://www.yok.gov.tr/component/option,com_docman/task,cat_view/gid,134/Itemid,88/ Accessed 18 November 2012.
- Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests.
*Psychometrika,**16*(3), 297–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - DeBellis, V. A., & Goldin, G. A. (2006). Affect and meta-affect in mathematical problem solving: A representational perspective.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**63*, 131–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Edwards, A. (1957).
*The social desirability variable in personality assessment and research*. New York, NY: Dryden Press.Google Scholar - Fauvel, J. (1991). Using history in mathematics education.
*For the Learning of Mathematics,**11*(2), 3–6.Google Scholar - Fennema, E. (1990). Teachers’ beliefs and gender differences in mathematics. In E. Fennema & G. C. Leder (Eds.),
*Mathematics and gender*(pp. 169–187). New York, NY: Teachers’ College.Google Scholar - Fennema, E. (2002). Mathematics, gender, and research. In G. Hanna (Ed.),
*Towards gender equity in mathematics education*(pp. 9–26). New York City, NY: Kluwer Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Filloy, E., & Rojano, T. (1989). Solving equations: The transition from arithmetic to algebra.
*For the Learning of Mathematics,**9*(2), 19–25.Google Scholar - Foss, D. H., & Kleinsasser, R. C. (1996). Preservice elementary teachers’ views of pedagogical and mathematical content knowledge.
*Teaching and Teacher Education,**12*(4), 429–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Freudenthal, H. (1981). Should a mathematics teacher know something about the history of mathematics?
*For the Learning of Mathematics,**2*(1), 30–33.Google Scholar - Fried, M. (2001). Can mathematics education and history of mathematics coexist?
*Science & Education,**10*, 391–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Furinghetti, F. (1997). History of mathematics, mathematics education, school practice: Case studies linking different domains.
*For the Learning of Mathematics,**17*(1), 55–61.Google Scholar - Furinghetti, F. (2000). The history of mathematics as a coupling link between secondary and university teaching.
*International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology,**31*(1), 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Furinghetti, F. (2004). History and mathematics education: A look around the world with particular reference to Italy.
*Mediterranean Journal for Research in Mathematics Education,**3*(1–2), 1–19.Google Scholar - Furinghetti, F. (2007). Teacher education through the history of mathematics.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**66*(2), 131–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Furinghetti, F., & Pehkonen, E. (2002). Rethinking characterizations of belief. In G. Leder, E. Pehkonen, & G. Törner (Eds.),
*Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education?*(pp. 39–57). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar - Furinghetti, F., & Radford, L. (2002). Historical conceptual developments and the teaching of mathematics: From phylogenesis and ontogenesis theory to classroom practice. In D. L. English (Ed.),
*Handbook of international research in mathematics education*(pp. 631–654). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar - Gallagher, A. M., & Kaufman, J. C. (2005). Gender differences in mathematics: What we know and what we need to know. In A. M. Gallagher & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.),
*Gender differences in mathematics*(pp. 316–332). Cambridge: Cambridge University.Google Scholar - Gönülateş, F. (2008). Prospective teachers’ views on the integration of history of mathematics in mathematics courses. Paper presented at HPM 2008 satellite meeting of ICME-11. http://www.icyt.df.gob.mx/documents/memorias/HPM/ProgramAbstracts.pdf. Accessed November 18, 2012.
- Goodwin, D. M. (2007).
*Exploring the relationship between high school teachers’ mathematics history knowledge and their images of mathematics.*Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Massachussets, Massachussets.Google Scholar - Gürsoy, K. (2010).
*A survey of prospective mathematics teachers’ beliefs and attitudes towards using the history of mathematics in mathematics teaching*. Unpublished master’s thesis, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon.Google Scholar - Handal, B., & Herrington, A. (2003). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and curriculum reform.
*Mathematics Education Research Journal,**15*(1), 59–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Haser, C. (2006).
*Investigation of preservice and inservice teachers’ mathematics related beliefs in Turkey and the perceived effect of middle school mathematics education program and the school contexts on these beliefs*. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, East Lansing.Google Scholar - Heeffer, A. (2011). Historical objections against the number line.
*Science & Education,**20*(9), 863–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Heiede, T. (1996). History of mathematics and the teacher. In R. Calinger (Ed.),
*Vita mathematica: Historical research and integration with teaching*(pp. 231–245). Washington, DC: The Mathematical Association of America.Google Scholar - Hiebert, J., & Grouws, D. A. (2007). The effects of classroom mathematics teaching on students’ learning. In F. K. Lester Jr (Ed.),
*Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning. A project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics*(pp. 371–404). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.Google Scholar - Jankvist, U. T. (2009). A categorization of the “whys” and “hows” of using history in mathematics education.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**71*(3), 235–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Jankvist, U. T. (2010). An empirical study of using history as a ‘goal’.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**74*(1), 53–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Leder, G. C., & Forgasz, H. (2002). Measuring mathematical beliefs and their impact on the learning of mathematics: A new approach. In G. C. Leder, E. Pehkonen, & G. Törner (Eds.),
*Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education?*(pp. 95–114). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar - Li, Q. (1999). Teachers’ beliefs and gender differences in mathematics: A review.
*Educational Research,**41*(1), 63–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Linn, M. C., & Hyde, J. S. (1989). Gender, mathematics, and science.
*Educational Researcher,**18*(8), 17–27.Google Scholar - Lit, C. K., Siu, M. K., & Wong, N. Y. (2001). The use of history in the teaching of mathematics: Theory, practice, and evaluation of effectiveness.
*Education Journal,**29*(1), 17–31.Google Scholar - Lortie, D. (1975).
*Schoolteacher: A sociological study*. London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar - Marshall, G. L. (2000).
*Using history of mathematics to improve secondary students’ attitudes towards mathematics.*Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Illinois State University, Illinois.Google Scholar - McLeod, D. B. (1992). Research on affect and mathematics learning in the JRME: 1970 to the present.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education,**25*(6), 637–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Middleton, J. A., & Spanias, P. A. (1999). Motivation for achievement in mathematics: Findings, generalizations, and criticisms of the research.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education,**30*(1), 65–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ministry of National Education (MoNE). (2005a).
*İlköğretim matematik dersi 6-8. sınıflar öğretim program ve klavuzu*. İstanbul: Milli Eğitim.Google Scholar - Ministry of National Education (MoNE). (2005b).
*Ortaöğretim matematik (9, 10, 11 ve 12. sınıflar) dersi öğretim programı [Secondary mathematics (grades 9, 10, 11, and 12) curriculum]*. Ankara: MEB Devlet Kitapları.Google Scholar - Ministry of National Education (MoNE). (2008). Matematik öğretmeni özel alan yeterlikleri. Resource document. http://otmg.meb.gov.tr/alanmatematik.html. Accessed 18 November 2012.
- Ministry of National Education (MoNE). (2009).
*İlköğretim matematik dersi 6-8. sınıflar öğretim program ve klavuzu [Middle grades 6-8 mathematics curriculum and guide]*. Ankara: MEB Devlet Kitapları.Google Scholar - Ministry of National Education (MoNE). (2010).
*İlköğretim matematik 6, 7, 8: Öğretmen klavuz kitabı [Middle school mathematics 6, 7, 8: Teacher’s guide book]*. Ankara: MEB Devlet Kitapları.Google Scholar - Muis, K. R. (2004). Personal epistemology and mathematics: A critical review and synthesis of research.
*Review of Educational Research,**74*, 317–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Nisbet, S. (1991). A new instrument to measure pre-service primary teachers’ attitudes to teaching mathematics.
*Mathematics Education Research Journal,**3*, 34–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Nyaumwe, L. (2004). The impact of full time student teaching on preservice teachers’ conceptions of mathematics teaching and learning.
*Mathematics Teacher Education and Development,**6*, 19–30.Google Scholar - Osler, A. (1994). Still hidden from history? The representation of women in recently published history textbooks.
*Oxford Review of Education,**20*(2), 219–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Pengelley, D. (2012). Teaching number theory from Sophie Germain’s manuscripts: A guided discovery pedagogy. Paper presented at HPM 2012 satellite meeting of ICME-12. http://www.hpm2012.org/announce_05. Accessed June 13, 2013.
- Peşman, H., & Eryılmaz, A. (2010). Development of a three-tier test to assess misconceptions about simple electric circuits.
*Journal of Educational Research,**103*(3), 208–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Philipp, A. R. (2007). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and affect. In F. K. Lester Jr (Ed.),
*Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning: A project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics*(pp. 257–315). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.Google Scholar - Philippou, G. N. (1994). Misconceptions, attitudes, and teacher preparation. In
*Proceedings of the third international seminar on misconceptions and educational strategies in science and mathematics*. Ithaca, NY: Misconceptions Trust.Google Scholar - Philippou, G. N., & Christou, C. (1998). The effects of a preparatory mathematics program in changing prospective teachers’ attitudes towards mathematics.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**35*, 189–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Picker, S. H., & Berry, J. S. (2000). Investigating pupils’ images of mathematicians.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics,**43*(1), 65–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. P. Sikula, T. J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.),
*Handbook of research on teacher education: A Project of the Association of Teacher Educators*(2nd ed., pp. 390–419). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar - Schubring, G., Cousquer, É., Fung, C. I., El Idrissi, A., Gispert, H., Heiede, T., et al. (2000). History of mathematics for trainee teachers. In J. Fauvel & J. van Maanen (Eds.),
*History in mathematics education—The ICMI Study*(pp. 91–142). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar - Siu, M. K. (2000). The ABCD of using history of mathematics in the (undergraduate) classroom. In V. Katz (Ed.),
*Using history to teach mathematics*(pp. 3–11). Washington, DC: The Mathematical Association of America.Google Scholar - Siu, M. K. (2007). No, I don’t use history of mathematics in my class. Why? In F. Furinghetti, S. Kaijser, & C. Tzanakis (Eds.),
*Proceedings of HPM 2004 & ESU 4*(revised ed., pp. 368–382). Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet.Google Scholar - Sullivan, K. M. (2000).
*Pre*-*service secondary mathematics teachers’ attitudes about the history of mathematics.*Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.Google Scholar - Thompson, A. G. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and conceptions: A synthesis of the research. In A. D. Grouws (Ed.),
*Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning. A project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics*(pp. 127–146). New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar - Tzanakis, C., & Arcavi, A. (2000). Integrating history of mathematics in the classroom: An analytic survey. In J. Fauvel & J. van Maanen (Eds.),
*History in mathematics education—The ICMI Study*(pp. 201–240). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar - Zan, R., & Di Martino, P. (2007). Attitudes towards mathematics: Overcoming the positive/negative dichotomy.
*The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, Monograph,**3*, 157–168.Google Scholar