Effects of a videodisc problem solving approach embedded in constructivist-based instruction in mathematics methods course on preservice teachers' decisions about teaching mathematics strategies and attitudes toward mathematics and technologies
Research on teaching and learning mathematics indicates that offering an appropriate constructivist-based teaching model of mathematics instruction to preservice teachers enhances their teaching abilities and confidence in their future teaching. The purpose of this study was to investigate preservice elementary teachers' decisions about teaching strategies and their attitudes toward mathematics and computer-related technologies in a constructivist-centered methods course which included the use of problem-solving multimedia;This study involved 73 preservice elementary teachers enrolled in an elementary education methods course at Iowa State University. Twenty-eight participants were involved in the treatment group, eighteen students participated in the comparison 1 group and twenty-seven students participated in the comparison 2 group. The treatment consisted of six hours of multimedia-enhanced instruction over two weeks. The remainder of the course was essentially equivalent for all groups. This study focuses on three mathematics education topics taught to each group of students: problem-solving, technology, and ratios/proportions;The results showed that the videodisc experience enhanced the constructivist-based mathematics methods course. The results suggest that constructivist-based instruction including the use of multimedia helped the participants develop more positive attitudes toward computer-related technologies and influenced their decisions to plan more constructivist-based teaching strategies than those participants in the comparison groups. This study offered a potential teaching model of constructivist-based instruction which included the use of multimedia that helps preservice elementary teachers improve their mathematics teaching;The results of this study may provide useful ideas for the design of an elementary mathematics methods course for preservice teachers. Future researchers may use the constructivist-based instruction including the use of multimedia as a foundation to explore subjects other than Mathematics; Moreover, researchers may examine parts of this instruction model in greater detail to identify specific items or procedures that contribute to enhancement of preservice teacher education. Thus, the significance of the study has practical and theoretical implications for teaching elementary mathematics based on constructivist approach.