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Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

Abstract

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This study investigated how prospective elementary teachers view themselves as learners of mathematics and science during their last year in a teacher preparation program at an American university. Using drawing and reflections as the method for collecting data, prospective teachers were prompted to draw themselves and reflect on learning mathematics and draw themselves and reflect on learning science prior to and after their mathematics and science methods courses. Drawings (n = 147) were coded according to the presence or absence of several themes including physical objects, teachers, students, and environment. The drawings and reflections indicated that the experience of participating in mathematics and science methods courses taught from a social constructivist perspective positively impacted prospective teachers’ conceptions of themselves as learners and in ways consistent with current research-based pedagogies. The research study described here proposes that prospective teachers’ learning experiences in mathematics and science methods classes might impact how they will teach mathematics and science in their future elementary classrooms.

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