Motivation and Attitude of Preservice Elementary Teachers toward Mathematics
This study investigated preservice elementary teachers’ achievement goal orientations for learning mathematics and the relationship of those goals to their attitudes toward mathematics. Self-report instruments were administered to assess three achievement goals—mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoid, and three constructs of attitude—confidence in learning mathematics, usefulness of mathematics, and mathematics as a male domain. The preservice teachers were higher in mastery goals than in performance goals, and performance-avoid goals were higher than performance-approach goals. Mastery goals correlated positively to all three constructs of attitude. Since mathematics classes are traditionally performance-oriented, these results suggest a mismatch between personal and classroom goals that could result in negative attitudes and the adoption of maladaptive performance-avoid goals. These findings suggest that mathematics content courses for preservice elementary teachers should be taught in a classroom climate that supports and encourages mastery goals.
School Science and Mathematics, Vol. 111, No. 1, 2-10.