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Educational Studies: Problem Statement & Significance

Statement of the Problem

The examination of self-efficacy in relation to pre-service elementary teachers has been the focus of several educational studies, with results suggesting that it is one of the most fundamental aspects affecting teachers’ behaviors, attitudes and effectiveness in the classroom context (Albayrak & Unal, 2011; Haverback & Parault, 2008). A strand of existing literature demonstrates that teachers who are conscious about their own self-efficacy and teaching efficacy work more effectively and efficiently (Briley, 2012), endeavor to spend more time on their work and with students to increase their chances of success (Onen & Kaygisiz, 2013), accomplish results with speed (Phelps, 2010), and work more productively and easily when faced with difficulties (Lancaster & Bain, 2010). Research is also consistent that teacher efficacy influences particular classroom behaviors known to stimulate achievement gains, implying that a teacher with high efficacy beliefs can assist students to accomplish more academically (Haverback & Parault, 2008).

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Within the mathematics domain, a number of studies have demonstrated that participation in a pre-service mathematics methodology course positively influences the attitudes and self-efficacy of pre-service teachers by boosting their confidence in solving mathematics problems (Briley, 2012; Swars, Hart, & Smith, 2007). Consequently, these programs are thought to substantially increase pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching mathematics. Despite these positive effects, only a few studies (e.g., Albayrak & Unal, 2011) have examined the impact of various training programs on the attitudes and beliefs of future educators. A proper understanding of how the self-efficacy of these teachers is affected by the mathematics methodology course is indispensable if future educators are to make an impact on students’ academic success. Such an understanding will illuminate aspects of the teaching context that affect the self-efficacy beliefs of these teachers upon exposure to the methodology course. More still, there is need to understand the pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their skills, competence, and ability to teach mathematics with the view to informing policy and future directions on the teaching of mathematics. It is these gaps in knowledge that the present study seeks to fill.

Significance of Study

A number of research studies have emphasized the cardinal role played by pre-service programs and courses in the development of teachers’ self-efficacy (Onen & Kaygisiz, 2013), teaching efficacy (Albayrak & Unal, 2011), and positive beliefs (Lancaster & Bain, 2010). The present study adds to the pool of knowledge by attempting to delineate how methodology courses can affect the attitudes and beliefs of future educators. This information is of immense importance in the design of educational programs that are offered to future teachers who need to develop the capacity to not only guide students to academic excellence, but also to cope with possible challenges. Additionally, the findings of this study are instrumental in assisting educators and policy makers understand how to develop learning environments that not only support teachers in their work but also enhance their effectiveness, self-confidence and innovativeness.

As posited by Onen & Kaygisiz (2013), “human behavior depends on the people’s self-consciousness of their capacity rather than their ability to do things” (p. 2449). The examination of the effect of a mathematics methodology course on the self-efficacy of pre-service elementary teachers goes a long way in enhancing their self-consciousness of their capacity as teachers, which in turns helps them to learn a profound level of mathematics and mathematics knowledge for teaching in their mathematics content programs for teachers (Phelps, 2010). Consequently, the findings of the present study also assist pre-service elementary teachers to internalize the concept of self-efficacy by helping them to know how these beliefs and goals develop over time.

References

Albayrak, M., & Unal, Z.A. (2011). The effect of methods of teaching mathematics course on mathematics teaching efficacy belief of elementary pre-service mathematics teachers. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(16), 183-190.

Briley, J.S. (2012). The relationships among mathematics teaching efficacy, mathematics self-efficacy and mathematical beliefs for elementary pre-service teachers. Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics Preparation of School Teachers, 5(2), 1-13.

Haverback, H.R., & Parault, S.J. (2008). Pre-service reading teacher efficacy and tutoring. Educational Psychological Review, 20(3), 237-255.

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Lancaster, J., & Bain, A. (2010). The design of pre-service inclusive education courses and their effects on self-efficacy: A comparative study. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 38(2), 117-128.

Onen, F., & Kaygisiz, M. (2013). Prospective science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs about teaching science between 6-8 terms and the opinions on these beliefs. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(4), 2449-2453.

Phelps, C.M. (2010). Factors that pre-service elementary teachers perceive as affecting their motivational profiles in mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 75(3), 293-309.

Swars, S., Hart, L.C., & Smith, S.Z. (2007). A longitudinal study of elementary pre-service teachers’ mathematics beliefs and content knowledge. School Science and Mathematics, 107(8), 325-335.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 12). Educational Studies: Problem Statement & Significance. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/educational-studies-problem-statement-and-amp-significance/

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Educational Studies: Problem Statement & Significance'. 12 January.

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