What Beliefs and Intentions Concerning Science and Mathematics and the Teaching of Those Subjects Do ReformPrepared Specialist Elementary/Middle Level Teachers Bring to the Workplace?
J. Randy McGinnis and Carolyn Parker
Science Teacher Center
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Room 2226 Benjamin
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, Maryland 20742
A paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2629, 2001.
Abstract
In this report we present the results of survey research that collected responses of graduates (N=113, Fall 1999 through Fall 2001) from a reformbased mathematics and science teacher preparation program. We compared all graduates’ responses and smaller subsamples of employed new elementary and middle school teachers with responses of a larger sample of previously surveyed practicing elementary and middle school teachers (referred to as our "national sample"). The statewide reformbased undergraduate teacher preparation program surveyed was the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation (MCTP). The MCTP is a funded National Science Foundation CETP program for teacher candidates who plan to become specialist mathematics and science upper elementary or middle level teachers. We crafted an instrument to measure the constructs of interest of the program’s graduates. We named the instrument, MCTP Teacher’s Beliefs and Actions of Mathematics and Science. This 51item instrument included 45 items reported in the National Science Board’s 1998 Science & Engineering Indicators (NSB981). The survey was administered three times over a threeyear period (1999/2000/2001). The total response rate was 60%. A nonresponse bias check indicated no significant difference between respondents and nonrespondents. A statistical examination indicated that in a preponderance of areas the MCTP graduates’ and employed new teachers’ responses were more in alignment with a reformbased orientation than were responses by the national sample of teachers. This finding was highly significant since it was the goal of the MCTP to produce new teachers with reformoriented views. There were a few areas that do not fit this pattern. These anomalous findings entice further consideration.
What Beliefs and Intentions Concerning Science and Mathematics and the Teaching of Those Subjects Do ReformPrepared Specialist Elementary/Middle Level Teachers Bring to the Workplace?
This study is conducted within a macroresearch agenda within the mathematics and science education research communities that are focusing on the possible links between features of teacher preparation programs and the performances of new teachers (Anderson & Mitchener, 1994; Coble & Koballa, 1996). Currently, there is considerable interest in preparing reformbased science teachers who can teach for understanding, use technology appropriately, and make connections with other subjects (see, for example, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 1991 and the National Resource Council [NRC], 1996). A salient theme that distinguishes our time period as judged from a review of a considerable number of sessions at recent NARST conference meetings is innovation in undergraduate science teacher preparation. Presently, however, there are few reports outside of small n case studies on what beliefs and intentions concerning the teaching of science (and mathematics) graduates of reformbased teacher preparation programs bring to the workplace (one prominent exception being Simmons, et. al, 1999).
In this report we present the results of survey research that collected responses of graduates (N=113, Fall 1999 through Fall 2001) from a reformbased mathematics and science teacher preparation program. We compared all graduates’ responses and smaller subsamples of employed new elementary and middle school teachers with responses of a larger sample of previously surveyed practicing elementary and middle school teachers (referred to as our "national sample"). The statewide reformbased undergraduate teacher preparation program surveyed was the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation (MCTP). The MCTP is a funded National Science Foundation CETP program for teacher candidates who plan to become specialist mathematics and science upper elementary or middle level teachers. We crafted an instrument to measure the constructs of interest of the program’s graduates. We named the instrument, MCTP Teacher’s Beliefs and Actions of Mathematics and Science. This 51item instrument included 45 items reported in the National Science Board’s 1998 Science & Engineering Indicators (NSB981).
This study is one in a series of studies in an extendedinduration research program investigating the MCTP. Previous studies have been reported at NARST (previous 7 years), AERA (previous 6 years), AETS (three times), and NSTA (once). In addition, several studies have been reported in book chapter and journal form. Interested readers are directed to the attached comprehensive MCTP research reference list (note: most of these reports can be accessed by visiting the MCTP Web site, www.inform.umd.edu/UMS+State/UMDProjects/MCTP/WWW/MCTPHomePage.html ).
Context of the Study
The MCTP is a NSF funded statewide undergraduate program for students who plan to become specialist mathematics and science upper elementary or middle level teachers. While teacher candidates selected to participate in the MCTP program in many ways are representative of typical teacher candidates in elementary teacher preparation programs, they are distinctive by agreeing to participate in a program that consists of an extensive array of mathematics and science experiences (formal and informal) that make connections between the two disciplines.
The goal of the MCTP is to promote the development of professional teachers who are confident teaching mathematics and science using technology, who can make connections between and among the disciplines, and who can provide an exciting and challenging learning environment for students of diverse backgrounds (University of Maryland System, 1993). This goal is in accord with the educational practice reforms advocated by the major professional mathematics and science education communities:
The MCTP is designed around these notable reformbased recommendations:
• new content and pedagogy courses that model inquirybased, interdisciplinary approaches combined with regular opportunities for teacher candidate reflection;
• the participation of faculty in mathematics, science, and methods committed to modeling best teaching practices (especially by diminishing lecture and emphasizing problemsolving);
• the development of field experiences in community schools with exemplary teachers trained to serve as mentors;
• the availability of summer internships in contexts rich in mathematics and science;
• and, the support of new teachers by university and school personnel during their first years of teaching.
Theoretical Assumption and Research Methodological Approaches
A fundamental assumption of the MCTP is that changes in presecondary level mathematics and science educational practices in the workplace require reform within the undergraduate mathematics and science subject matter and education classes teacher candidates take throughout their teacher preparation programs (NSF, 1993).To test this assumption, over a three year period (1999, 2000, 2001) we conducted three complementary studies: (1) A comparison survey study was designed to investigate all new MCTP teachers’ beliefs about mathematics and science and their actions toward the teaching of those subjects; (2) An empirical study using a case study approach (N=5) was designed to investigate the socialization of a select sample of MCTP new teachers throughout their first few years of teaching experience; and, 3) A novel study using teaching case studies (N=15) designed to enrich the other two data sets by adding the program participants’ own voices (new teachers as well as their veteran mentor teachers) as they detailed their successes and obstacles in implementing the project’s goals in the workplace.
In this report, we focus on answering these highly significant research questions:
How do new specialist teachers of mathematics and science who graduate from an inquirybased, standardsguided innovative undergraduate teacher preparation:
(1) view their subject disciplines;
(2) intend to enact their roles as teachers; and,
(3) compare in their beliefs and intentions concerning mathematics and science to other elementary/middle level teachers?
Data Collection Strategies
Instrumentation. We sought to collect the total population of MCTP graduates reported beliefs about mathematics and science and their intentions toward the teaching of those subjects, so that we could 1) describe our sample, and 2) compare our sample (total and disaggregated by level and subject) with a larger, more representative sample of practicing elementary and middle school mathematics or science teachers. Our strategy was to use existing reported survey items that practicing elementary and middle level teachers had previously responded. We sought to make a comparison between the MCTP graduates’ responses about beliefs (mathematics/science) and intentions (mathematics/science instruction) with responses by representative practicing teachers in the workplace before the MCTP graduates entered employment. This goal required us to examine the literature for existing accepted and reported surveys that measured practicing teachers’ constructs we targeted and then develop a new survey for the MCTP sample consisting primarily of items taken verbatim from those reported surveys.
We found success in our search when we inspected survey data reported in the National Science Board’s 1998 Science & Engineering Indicators (NSB981). Specifically, Figure 118 ("Percentage of science and mathematics teachers implementing reform activities"(National Center for Education Statistics, 1997/2000), Figure 119 (Teacher beliefs about the nature and teaching of mathematics and science: 199495) (Williams, Levine, Martin, Butler, Heid, & Haynes, 1997), and Figure 120 (Teacher perceptions of student skills required for success in mathematics and science: 199495) (Williams, et al, 1997) contained what we needed. From these existing surveys (and one other referred to on p. 125 that contained data on teachers’ knowledge of the standards (Williams, et. al, 1997)), we crafted a new 51item survey, MCTP Teachers’ Actions And Beliefs Of Mathematics And Science, consisting of 45 previously administered items taken from those reported surveys. The constructs we measured were "Teachers’ beliefs about mathematics (9 items)," "Teachers’ beliefs about science (9 items)," "Teachers’ use or intended use of instructional practices in mathematics (7 items) ," "Teachers use or intended use of instructional practices in science (7 items)," "Teachers’ perceptions about student success in mathematics (6 items)," "Teachers’ perceptions about student success in science (6 items)," "Teachers intentions about implementing reform activities in mathematics classes (6 items)," "Teachers’ intentions about implementing reform activities in science classes (6 items),"and "Teachers’ knowledge of the mathematics and science standards" (3 items). We added two items that related to a unique aspect of the MCTP, making connections between mathematics and science in instructional practice. We added another item that asked about the teacher’s familiarity with the National Science Education Standards. We also included 4 items that asked background information. See the Appendix for a copy of the instrument.
Sample. We sent out our survey by mail to the MCTP program’s graduates three times: in the spring 1999 to all graduates from 1997 to that date (n=57); in the fall 1999 (n=28); and finally, in the fall 2000 (n=28). Our total response rate was 60%, high for survey research of this type. Responses came from graduates of all seven of the MCTP participating institutions with baccalaureate programs We attribute the high level of response partially to the strategies for increasing a return rate to mailin surveys we learned from Dillman (1978) (i.e., sending a token honorarium such as a $2 bill or a $1 coin in the first mailing, sending a later reminder letter with another copy of the instrument, and using email and telephone reminders).
To enhance the credibility of our analysis, we conducted a nonresponse bias check. Up to 2001 January, questionnaires were mailed to 113 MCTP teachers at their schools. Sixty MCTP graduates responded promptly. To check for nonresponse bias, 8 randomly selected MCTP graduates were contacted and encouraged to complete the survey. All eight completed the survey by midFebruary, 2001. The 60 teachers who responded early were classified into the Early Responding Group, and the 8 teachers who responded late were classified into the Late Responding Group. Using the both the Pearson chisquared statistic and the CochranArmitage Trend statistic, early and late response groups were compared on all 51 items.
The Pearson chisquared statistic is an omnibus test, meant to detect differences of any sort between the groups. The CochranArmitage test (expressed as a Zscore) is sensitive against one particular type of difference: that differences between response patterns are associated with increasing levels of response. In this sense, the CochranArmitage test is qualitatively similar to a correlation between response level and group membership (coded as 0 or 1).
The chisquared test and the trend test gave the same results on all 51 items. Only two out of 51 items are significantly different on both the chisquared test and the trend test. However, with a type I error of 0.05, two significant differences might be expected by chance alone. We concluded that there was no difference among the early and late groups on their responses in this survey. Therefore, we believe that our analysis is free from nonrespondent bias, and that our report conveys accurately the beliefs and intentions of the MCTP graduates. See Table 1.
Findings
We conducted two levels of data analysis. For our first level of data analysis we examined our data to see how the MCTP graduates’ responded to each item, by frequency and percent. For our second level of data analysis (i.e., comparing our sample’s responses with a larger, more representative sample of practicing elementary and middle school teachers) we used inferential statistics. We first made comparisons by total MCTP response and practicing teacher response. We made the assumption that the MCTP graduates were all certified to teach at the differing levels of our practicing teacher samples and therefore were comparable groups. We wanted to compare if the MCTP graduates were different in any way from practicing teachers on a range of items that could be linked to reformbased perspectives. However, we were sensitive to possible arguments of group noncomparability (i.e., the MCTP graduates were not necessarily employed teachers at the time they responded to the survey, or if they were, they taught at differing levels and subjects). Therefore, to test if those differences between the samples made a difference, we next performed a comparison between dissaggregated MCTP samples by employed new teacher’s level (elementary or middle level) and by subject focus (mathematics or science). What follows are our results reported by instrument section (representing our targeted constructs).
Subject Background. The majority of the sampled MCTP graduates were first year teachers (69.7%). Ninetyseven percent were in their first or second years of fulltime practice. The instructional level of the employed MCTP new teachers ranged from 1^{st} and 2^{nd} grade (10.2%) to 7^{th} or 8^{th} grade (32.2%). Two out of three respondents reported subject specializationscience (38.1%), mathematics (31%), and both science and mathematics (19.0%). A review of the completed surveys by a researcher familiar with the respondents also provided the following supplemental information. Sixtyone (90%) of the respondents were employed either as elementary or middle school teachers. Fiftytwo point five percent were middle school teachers (23% mathematics; 14.8% science; and 14.8% both mathematics and science), and 47.5% were elementary teachers.
Nature and teaching of mathematics. We compared the responses of the MCTP graduates (n=68) and the larger practicing teachers’ sample (n=478) by using the Pearson chisquared test to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement from this section of the instrument. The MCTP graduates’ responses differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on several beliefs. Specifically, they were less likely to believe: that mathematics is primarily an abstract subject; that mathematics should be learned as sets of algorithms or rules that cover all possibilities; that a liking for and understanding of students are essential for teaching mathematics; and, that more than one representation should be used in teaching a mathematics concept. See Table 21.
A disaggregated analysis of the MCTP middle school mathematics teachers’ responses (n=14) is reported in Table 22. The comparison group was practicing eighth grade teachers (n=246). We used the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = (MCTP sample size) – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the reported MSEG report. The MCTP middle school mathematics teachers differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on two beliefs. They were less likely to believe that mathematics is primarily an abstract subject, and they were less likely to believe that if students are having difficulty, an effective approach was to give them more practice by themselves during the class.
Nature and teaching of science. The MCTP graduates’ and the national sample were compared using the Pearson chisquared test to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement. The MCTP graduates differed significantly from the national sample (p<.05) on several beliefs. Specifically, they were less likely to believe : that science is primarily a formal way of representing the real world; that science is primarily a practical and structured guide for addressing real situations; that a liking for and understanding of students are essential for teaching science; that it is important for teachers to give students prescriptive and sequential directions for science experiments; and, that students see a science task as the same task when it is represented in two different ways. However, they were more likely to believe that if students get into debates in class about ideas or procedures covering the sciences, it can harm their learning. Refer to Table 31.
A disaggregated analysis of the MCTP middle school science teachers’ responses (n=9) is reported in Table 32. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP middle school science teachers and national samples (n=232). Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the MSEG report. The MCTP middle school science teachers differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on two beliefs. They were less likely to believe that it is important for teachers to give students prescriptive and sequential directions for science experiments. However, they were more likely to believe that science is primarily a practical and structured guide for addressing real situations.
Perceptions of Student Skills Required for Success in Mathematics. The MCTP graduates and national samples were compared using the Pearson chisquared test to compare proportions responding "very important" on each statement. The MCTP graduates differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on several beliefs. Specifically, they were less likely to think: it is very important for students to remember formulas and procedures, and to think in a sequential manner. Refer to Table 4.
A disaggregated analysis of the MCTP middle school mathematics teachers’ responses (n=14) is reported in Table 42. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the MSEG report. The MCTP teachers differed significantly from the national sample on one belief. Specifically, they are less likely to think it is very important for students to think in a sequential manner.
Perceptions of Student Skills Required for Success in Science. The MCTP graduates and national samples were compared using the Pearson chisquared test to compare proportions responding "very important" on each statement. The MCTP graduates differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on several beliefs. Specifically, they were less likely to think : it is very important for students to remember formulas and procedures, and to think in a sequential manner. Refer to Table 51.
A disaggregated analysis of the MCTP middle school mathematics teachers’ responses (n=9) is reported in Table 52. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the MSEG report. The MCTP middle school mathematics teachers differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on one belief. Specifically, they were more likely to think it is very important for students to support solutions.
Familiarity with Mathematics and Science Education Standards Documents. The MCTP and national samples were compared using the Pearson chisquared test to compare proportions of familiarity with the document. The MCTP graduates differed significantly (p<.05) from the national sample on familiarity with two documents. MCTP teachers are likely to be less familiar with the Mathematics standards document, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, but were likely to be more familiar with the Science standards document, Benchmarks for Science Literacy. And, although no comparison could be made between the groups concerning the National Science Education Standards (there were no reported national data on practicing teachers’ familiarity with that document) , 63.2% of the MCTP sample reported familiarity with that document. See Table 61.
A disaggregated analysis of the MCTP middle school teachers’ responses is reported in Table 62. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the MSEG report. We compared responses by MCTP middle school mathematics teachers (n=14) and the national sample eightgrade mathematics teachers on Item 31. No significant difference between the groups in was found. We compared responses by MCTP middle school science teachers (n=9) and the national sample eightgrade science teachers on item 32. MCTP middle school science teachers were significantly (p<.05) more familiar with the science standards document Benchmarks for Science Literacy. In addition, they reported an 88.9% familiarity with the National Science Education Standards.
Teachers use of instructional practices in mathematics. For this analysis, we disaggregated the sample by level, elementary and middle school, and by subject specialty (mathematics).
Elementary Teachers
There were 29 employed MCTP Elementary School Teachers who taught mathematics (and other subjects). The Public School Teacher Survey on Education Reform (1996) reported on practices of 473 elementary school teachers in any mathematics classes that they may have taught. The actual number of respondents may vary from item to item. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the TSER report. The MCTP elementary school teachers differed significantly from the national sample on all practices. They were more likely to : assist all students to achieve high standards; provide examples of highstandard work; use authentic assessments; use standards aligned curricula; use standardsaligned textbooks and materials; and, use telecommunicationsupported instruction. Also, 93.1% stated that would make connections with science in their practices. See Table 71.
Middle School Mathematics Teachers
There were 14 employed MCTP Middle School Mathematics Teachers. The Public School Teacher Survey on Education Reform (1996) reported on practices of 396 middle school teachers in any mathematics classes that they may have taught. The actual number of respondents may vary from item to item. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and the national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the TSER report. The MCTP middle school mathematics teachers differed significantly from the national sample on several actions. They were more likely to: assist all students to achieve high standards; provide examples of highstandard work; use authentic assessments; use standardsaligned curricula; and, use telecommunicationsupported instruction. Also, 92.31% stated that they made connections with science in their practices. See Table 72.
Teachers use of instructional practices in science. For this analysis, we disaggregated the sample by level, elementary and middle school, and by subject specialty (science).
Elementary Teachers
There were 29 employed MCTP Elementary School Teachers who taught mathematics (along with other subjects). The Public School Teacher Survey on Education Reform (1996) reported on practices of 473 elementary school teachers in any science classes that they may have taught. The actual number of respondents may vary from item to item. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the TSER report. The MCTP elementary school teachers differ significantly from the national sample on all practices. They were more likely to: assist all students to achieve high standards; provide examples of highstandard work, to use authentic assessments; use standards aligned curricula; use standardsaligned textbooks and materials; and, use telecommunicationsupported instruction. Also, 96.6% stated that they made connections with mathematics in their practices. See Table 81.
Middle School Science Teachers
There were 9 employed MCTP Middle School Science Teachers. The Public School Teacher Survey on Education Reform (1996) reported on practices of 396 middle school teachers in any science classes that they may have taught. The actual number of respondents may vary from item to item. Using the twotailed t test for two independent samples to compare proportions agreeing or strongly agreeing with each statement, we compared the MCTP and national samples. Pooled standard error was used, with degrees of freedom = MCTP sample size – 1. The MCTP standard error was se^{2}=pq/n, where p is the MCTP sample proportion. The standard errors for the national sample came from the TSER report. The MCTP middle school science teachers differed significantly from the national sample on several practices. They were more likely to: assist all students to achieve high standards, to use authentic assessments; use standardsaligned curricula; use standardsaligned textbooks and materials; and, use telecommunicationsupported instruction. Also, 100% stated that they made connections with mathematics in their practices. See Table 82.
Discussion
The goal of the MCTP is to produce new teachers who are confident teaching mathematics and science using technology, who can make connections between and among the disciplines, and who can provide an exciting and challenging learning environment for students of diverse backgrounds. Along all measures, the present analysis provides evidence that the graduates of this program hold perspectives that support these aims. The present analysis also provides a striking comparison between the perspectives of practicing MCTP teachers and other teachers at the same level and subject specialization. Along all measures (many determined to be statistically significant) the MCTP new teachers express more reformoriented perspectives concerning subject matter and instruction. These findings suggest strongly that a systematic, reformbased undergraduate science and mathematics program can produce new teachers who enter the workplace with desired perspectives. Whether these perspectives impact instructional choices over time in the desired direction of the reform movement remains undetermined. However, our results suggest that at least initially the reformoriented perspectives do convey to the workplace.
It is intriguing, however, that among all the other positive findings, our analysis shows two anomalous results. The first anomalous finding was that when the MCTP graduates are compared with the entire sample of practicing teachers, the MCTP graduates are more likely to believe that if students get into debates in class about ideas or procedures covering the sciences, it can harm their learning (p<.0003). While the percentage of MCTP graduate responses is low (7.4%), the result is surprising given that the MCTP program promoted student discourse. And, while the new MCTP middle school teachers’ responses to this item were not determined to be statistically different than the sample of practicing middle school teachers, 11.1% also expressed this view. The second anomalous finding was that MCTP graduates differed significantly from the national sample on familiarity with a standards document. MCTP teachers are likely to be less familiar with the mathematics standards document, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (p<.0000). While the percentage of MCTP middle school school teachers’ responses to that item suggests some familiarity with that standard document (47%), the percentage did not match the percentage familiar with the science standards documents (approximately 65%). This finding was surprising given the emphasis of all the standards documents in MCTP courses.
Educational Implications
These are exciting times within the science (and mathematics) teacher preparation communities. The reform movement (as guided by recommendations in the mathematics and science standards documents) are influencing increasingly all aspects of the professional development of mathematics and science teachers, particularly in undergraduate teacher preparation. The present study adds empirical data to the discussion on what impact on teachers’ beliefs and intentions concerning mathematics and science large scale reformbased undergraduate teacher preparation programs can achieve (Pekarek, Krockover, & Shephardson, 1996).
The study also points a clear direction at needed researchthe impact of the workplace on graduates of such high quality programs. An exploratory study (McGinnis, Parker, & Graeber, 2000) of five new MCTP elementary and middle level teachers suggested that what happens to them in extant school cultures impacts dramatically the type and quality of their teaching practices. We believe that additional research using other methodologies (particularly case study) examining high quality, reformbased mathematics and science teachers in the workspace is necessary to generate new insights for policy makers concerned with improving the induction years of high quality mathematics and science teachers.
References (General)
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(Chair), What Works and What Doesn’t: Gathering Guidelines and Impressions. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation, Arlington, Virginia.
McGinnis, J. R., Kramer, S., RothMcDuffie, A, & Watanabe, T. (1998, April). Charting the attitude and belief journeys of teacher candidates in a reformbased mathematics and science teacher preparation program. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, California.
McGinnis, J.R., & Watanabe, T. (1998, April). The use of research to inform the evaluation of theMaryland Collaboration for Teacher Preparation. In C.K. Tittle (Chair), Approaches to Evaluation of ReformBased College Mathematics and Science Courses Founded Through NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CEPT). A symposium presented at the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, California.
McGinnis, J.R., Kramer, S., & Tad Watanabe (1998, April). A longitudinal assessment of teacher candidates’ attitudes and beliefs in a reformbased mathematics and science teacher preparation program. A paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Diego, California.
McGinnis, J. R., Shama, G., Graeber, A., & Watanabe, T. (1997, March). The assessment of elementary/middle level candidates’ attitudes and beliefs about the nature of and the teaching of mathematics and science. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois.
McGinnis, J. R., Watanabe, T., RothMcDuffie, A, Kramer, S., & Shama, G. (1997). The Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation: Making sense of the enactment of reform in the preparation of specialist teachers of mathematics and science. In P. Rubba, P. Keig, & J. Rye (Eds.), Proceedings Of The 1997 Association For The Education Of Teachers Of Science, (pp. 326347). Pensacola, FL: Association for the Education of Teachers of Science.
McGinnis, J. R., Watanabe, T., Shama, G., & Graeber, A. (1997, March). Development of an instrument to measure teacher candidates’ attitudes and beliefs about mathematics and science. A paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Oak Brook, Illinois.
McGinnis, J. R., Watanabe, T, RothMcDuffie A. R., Kramer, S., & Shama, G. (1997, January). The Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation: Making sense of the enactment of reform in the preparation of specialist teachers of mathematics and science. A paper presentated at the annual meeting of the Association of Educators of Teachers of Science, Cincinnati, Ohio.
McGinnis, J. R., & Watanabe, T. (1996, April). College science and mathematics teaching faculty talk about science and mathematics: An examination of the role of discourse in an upper elementary/middle level teacher preparation program. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the
McGinnis, J. R., Graeber, A., RothMcDuffie, A., Huntley, M., & King, K (1996, March). Researching the preparation of specialist mathematics and science upper elementary/middle level teachers: The second year MCTP report. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, St. Louis, Missouri.
McGinnis, J. R., & Watanabe, T. (1996, March). Higher education science teaching faculty talk about science and mathematics: An examination of the role of discourse in a middlelevel teacher preparation program. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, St. Louis, Missouri.
McGinnis, J. R., RothMcDuffie, A., Graeber, A, & Watanabe, T. (1995, April). The Maryland collaborative for teacher preparation yearone report: Collaborating with mathematics and science professors to construct specialized upper elementary/middle level teacher preparation programs. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Francisco, California.
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Shama, G., Watanabe, T., & McGinnis, J. R. (1997, February). Teacher candidates’ attitudes and beliefs toward the nature of and the teaching of mathematics and science.
A paper presented at the Research Council on Diagnostic and Prescriptive Mathematics, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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Author Note
This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation’s Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation Program (CETP), DUE 9814650 and 9814650.
The authors would like to thank the MCTP graduates for contributing to this study by completing and submitting their surveys for analysis. Of special note are the employed MCTP new teachers who took time to do this during their busy induction years. The authors would also like to acknowledge the statistical contributions made by Chinfang Weng.
Appendix:
MCTP Teacher’s Actions And Beliefs Of Mathematics And Science
Directions: Please select the letter response that best represents your actions and beliefs.
SECTION I.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?
Choices:
(A) (B) (C) (D)
Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree
Mathematics
1. is primarily an abstract subject.
2. is primarily a formal way of representing the real world.
3. is primarily a practical and structured guide for addressing real situations.
4. should be learned as sets of algorithms or rules that cover all possibilities.
5. A liking for and understanding of students are essential for teaching math.
6. If students are having difficulty, an effective approach is to give them more practice by themselves during the class.
7. More than one representations should be used in teaching a math concept.
8. Some students have a natural talent for math and others do not.
9. Basic computational skills on the part of the teacher are sufficient for teaching elementary school math.
Science
10. is primarily an abstract subject.
11. is primarily a formal way of representing the real world.
12. is primarily a practical and structured guide for addressing real situations.
13. Some students have a natural talent for science and others do not.
14. A liking for and understanding of students are essential for teaching science.
15. It is important for teachers to give students prescriptive and sequential directions for science experiments.
16. Focusing on rules is a bad idea. It gives students the impression that the sciences are a set of procedures to be memorized.
17. If students get into debates in class about ideas or procedures covering the sciences, it can harm their learning.
18. Students see a science task as the same task when it is represented in two different ways.
SECTION II.
To be good at mathematics [science] at school, how important do you think it is for students to [fill in the blank with each of the items below] ?
(A) (B) (C)
Not important Somewhat important Very Important
In Mathematics
19. remember formulas and procedures?
20. think in sequential manner?
21. understand concepts?
22. think creatively?
23. understand math use in real world?
24. support solutions?
In Science
25. remember formulas and procedures?
26. think in sequential manner?
27. understand concepts?
28. think creatively?
29. understand science use in real world?
30. support solutions?
SECTION III.
What is your familiarity with the reform documents?
(A) (B) (C) (D) (E)
Not at all Small extent Fairly Moderate extent Great extent
31. Mathematics standards document (Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics).
32. Science standards document Benchmarks for Science Literacy.
33. Science standards document National Science Education Standards.
SECTION IV.
Please indicate if you use (or would use if you taught mathematics and science) the instructional strategies listed below.
(A) No (B) Yes
In Mathematics
34. Assisting all students to achieve high standards.
35. Providing examples of highstandard work.
36. Using authentic assessments.
37. Using standards aligned curricula.
38. Using standardsaligned textbooks and materials.
39. Using telecommunicationsupported instruction.
40. Making connections with science.
In Science
41. Assisting all students to achieve high standards.
42. Providing examples of highstandard work.
43. Using authentic assessments.
44. Using standards aligned curricula.
45. Using standardsaligned textbooks and materials.
46. Using telecommunicationsupported instruction.
47. Making connections with mathematics.
SECTION V
48. If you have taught since graduation, for what duration?
a. in beginning year b. 1 to 2 years c. 3 to 4 years d. > 4 years
49. If applicable, what grade level are you teaching this year?
a. 1 or 2 b. 3 or 4 c. 5 or 6 d. 7 or 8 e. other
50. If applicable, are you a specialized teacher (by content)?
a. yes b. no
51. If you are a specialized teacher, what is your content area?
a. mathematics b. science c. both mathematics and science d. other
Table 1. Nonresponse Bias Test: Comparison of the MCTP Teachers Early Responding Group with Late Responding Group 

Item 
df 
p 
(Z) Cochran – Armitage Trend 
2tailed p 

1 
3 
3.611 
.307 
.2229 
.8236 
2 
3 
1.295 
.730 
1.1366 
.2557 
3 
3 
.346 
.951 
.0731 
.9418 
4 
3 
1.634 
.652 
.0997 
.9206 
5 
3 
1.953 
.582 
.6924 
.4887 
6 
3 
2.924 
.403 
.0624 
.9502 
7 
3 
2.735 
.434 
.2285 
.8192 
8 
3 
.586 
.900 
.5519 
.5810 
9 
3 
.637 
.888 
.5545 
.5793 
10 
3 
5.455 
.141 
.0421 
.9664 
11 
3 
1.687 
.640 
.0492 
.9607 
12 
3 
3.048 
.384 
.9897 
.3223 
13 
3 
1.973 
.578 
.2485 
.8037 
14 
3 
4.166 
2.44 
.8194 
.4126 
15 
3 
5.526 
.137 
.3804 
.7036 
16 
3 
1.298 
.730 
1.0918 
.2749 
17 
3 
2.549 
.467 
.0557 
.9556 
18 
3 
3.674 
.299 
.4189 
.6753 
19 
2 
1.509 
.470 
.2505 
.8022 
20 
2 
7.780 
.020* 
2.5069 
.0122* 
21 
1^{#} 
.418 
.518 
.6469 
.5177 
22 
2 
2.478 
.290 
.6208 
.5348 
23 
1^{#} 
.048 
.827 
.2186 
.8270 
24 
2 
.177 
.915 
.3340 
.7384 
25 
2 
1.578 
.454 
.9052 
.3654 
26 
2 
1.253 
.535 
.6563 
.5116 
27 
2 
.177 
.915 
.0583 
.9535 
28 
2 
1.025 
.599 
.4842 
.6282 
29 
2 
.177 
.915 
.0583 
.9535 
30 
2 
3.488 
.175 
.8501 
.3953 
31 
4 
5.463 
.243 
.1774 
.8529 
32 
4 
3.832 
.429 
1.8251 
.0680 
33 
4 
1.593 
.810 
.8265 
.4085 
34 
1 
.690 
.406 
.8307 
.4062 
35 
1 
.707 
.397 
.8469 
.3971 
36 
1 
1.406 
.236 
1.186 
.2356 
37 
1 
.690 
.406 
.8307 
.4062 
38 
1 
1.045 
.307 
1.0224 
.3066 
39 
1 
.538 
.463 
.7336 
.4632 
40 
1 
.123 
.726 
.3508 
.7257 
41 
1 
.717 
.397 
.6469 
.3971 
42 
1 
.717 
.397 
.8469 
.3971 
43 
1 
1.406 
.236 
1.1860 
.2356 
44 
1 
4.046 
.044* 
2.0115 
.0443* 
45 
1 
1.045 
.307 
1.0224 
.3066 
46 
1 
.533 
.465 
.7298 
.4655 
47 
2 
.629 
.730 
.7259 
.4679 
48 
2^{#} 
.330 
.848 
.4728 
.6364 
49 
4 
1.911 
.752 
.2507 
.8020 
50 
1 
1.154 
.283 
1.2659 
.2055 
51 
3 
2.713 
.438 
.1108 
.9117 