Primary teachers’ affect: a crucial variable in the teaching of mathematics
Cristina Coppola, Pietro Di Martino, Tiziana Pacelli and Cristina Sabena
Mathematics education is strongly interested in defining ”what is necessary for teaching mathematics effectively”. The main directions of research emphasize the cognitive side of the answer to this question, trying to describe what kind of knowledge is needed in order to teach mathematics effectively. Starting from the point that teachers’ affect plays a crucial role in determining the quality of teaching, we discuss this issue from a theoretical point of view, introducing the construct of ”attitude towards mathematics teaching”. Within this theoretical framework we conducted a study with 189 primary school pre-service teachers, investigating teachers’ emotions, beliefs and attitudes. In this paper, we analyze and discuss the relationship among the participants’ emotional disposition towards mathematics and towards the idea of having to teach it, their past experiences as math-students and the current perceived competence in mathematics.
Cristina Coppola has got a research fellowship at Dipartimento di Matematica of Università degli Studi di Salerno. Her main research interests are: future teachers’ attitudes and emotions towards mathematics; the study of different aspects regarding the relationship between mathematical logic and language, with particular attention to the development of logical tools in primary school children, to the semiotic coordination with secondary school children in mathematical learning processes and to undergraduate students’ reasoning in logical tasks; the use of e-learning in mathematics education.
Pietro Di Martino
Pietro Di Martino is a Researcher in Mathematics Education at Dipartimento di Matematica of Università degli Studi di Pisa. His main research interests regard: the role of affective factors in the teaching/learning of mathematics, with particular attention to the theoretical aspects related to the definition of the construct ”attitude towards mathematics”; the study of the difficulties related to the transition between secondary and tertiary transition in mathematics; mathematics teachers development, with particular attention to the development of future primary teachers, and the study of their emotions beliefs and attitudes towards mathematics.
Tiziana Pacelli has got a research fellowship at Dipartimento di Matematica of Università degli Studi di Salerno. Her main research interests are: analysis of emotions, beliefs and attitudes towards mathematics in future primary teachers; the exploration of the relationship between language and the development of logical tools in students at different school levels, in particular through cooperative and linguistic-manipulative activities with primary school children, through activities about semiotic coordination with secondary school children, through logical tasks with undergraduate students; analysis of the use of e-learning in mathematics education.
Cristina Sabena is a researcher in Mathematics Education at Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze dell’Educazione of Università degli Studi di Torino. Her main research interests regard: the multimodality of mathematics learning and teaching, with particular attention to the role of gestures, analysed with a semiotic lens; the argumentation processes from primary to secondary school; teachers’ and future teachers’ attitudes and emotions towards mathematics.