An analysis of selected attributes and behaviors of prospective elementary school teachers with varying CBTE backgrounds within a competency based mathemetics education program

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1975

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Abstract

This study presented an analysis of selected attributes and behaviors of prospective elementary school teachers with varying CBTE backgrounds within a competency-based mathematics education (CBME) program at the University of Houston. Specifically, this study sought to determine: (1) the relationship between prospective elementary school teachers' attitudes toward mathematics and their degrees of CBTE experience, (2) the change that occurred in attitude toward mathematics during participation in the CBME component, (3) the relationship between changes in attitudes toward mathematics and degrees of CBTE experience, (4) the relationship betv/een open- and closed-mindedness and degree of CBTE experience, (5) the change that occurred in open- and closed-mindedness during participation in the CBME component, (6) the relationship between changes in open- and closed-mindedness and degrees of CBTE experiences, and (7) dominant coping behaviors of students in the CBME component. The mathematics component of the elementary education program began at the University of Houston in 1971. The mathematics program uses an individualized, multi-mediated, diagnostic model. It contains a strong clinical experiences component. Instructional activities are outlined in modular formats which indicate the competencies to be mastered, pretest items, suggested enabling activities, criteria for evaluation, and a course schedule. Sixty knowledge objectives, twenty-five mathematics laboratory objectives, and twenty field objectives make up the basic content of the one-semester mathematics methods course. The student sample used in this study consisted of 122 prospective elementary school teachers enrolled in the CBME component of the University of Houston CBTE program during the fall semester, 1974. Of the 122 subjects, 90 were enrolled in Phase III (methods of teaching) of the CBTE program; the other 32 subjects began the traditional elementary education program prior to 1973 but were completing their requirements through enrollment in CBTE courses. The following instruments were utilized for data collection: (1) The Rckeach Dogmatism Scale, Form E, (2) The Dutton Arithmetic Attitude Scale, (3) student logs, and (4) general questionnaire prepared by the researcher. Multiple regression analysis, analysis of covariance, descriptive statistics and a t-test for correlated means were used for data analyses. The five percent level of significance was used for rejection of null hypotheses. Findings of the Study 1. There were significant relationships between: a. post-test attitude scores and degrees of CBTE experience; b. grades made in the prerequisite mathematics content course and pre- and post-test attitude scores; c. age of subjects and post-test attitude scores; d. post-test dogmatism scores and Phase III status; e. pre- and post-test dogmatism scores and students' grade point averages. 2. There were no significant relationships between: a. changes in attitude toward mathematics and degrees of CBTE experience; b. open- and closed-mindedness and degrees of CBTE experience; c. changes in open- and closed-mindedness and degrees of CBTE experience. However, there was a trend toward more "openness" as degree of CBTE experience increased. 3. The study group showed significant improvement between pre- and post-test means on the Arithmetic Attitude Scale while enrolled in the CBME program. 4. No significant change in open- and closed-mindedness occurred during participation in the CBME component. 5. Varied learning alternatives, dependent upon the nature of objectives involved, were utilized by students in coping with course components. Conclusions 1. The one-semester CBME program had a significant positive effect on prospective elementary teachers' affective behaviors toward mathematics. 2. The CBME program was successful in providing for individual coping behaviors. 3. Changes in attitudes and dogmatism may be considered a function of CBME program influence as well as CBME component influence.

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