Promoting Preservice Teachers' Mathematics Identity Exploration
Despite the effort of teacher education programs, early childhood, and elementary preservice teachers often fear mathematics, have high mathematics anxiety, hold negative self-perceptions in relation to mathematics, find mathematics irrelevant, and have low mathematics achievement. The aim of this study was to implement and investigate the influence of an identity exploration intervention on preservice teachers' identities in mathematics during a required mathematics content course of a teacher
... course of a teacher education program to provide insight into the patterns of change in identity and motivation towards mathematics. Twenty-four preservice teachers focusing on either early childhood education or non-mathematics secondary education were included in this study from a college algebra course specifically designed for education majors. Data collection included surveys, identity-related worksheets, identity exploration tasks, reflective writing assignments, interviews, and observations. Data was analyzed using the Dynamics Systems Model of Role-Identity and the principles for promoting identity exploration (Kaplan, 2014). This model highlights the interaction between self-perceptions, beliefs, purposes and goals, and actions. Analysis led to identification of patterns of change in student role identities and themes across cases that highlight the differences in change between the early childhood participants and secondary education participants, the influence of initial identity, and the impact of perceived relevance on identity exploration. This study contributes to the understanding of identity exploration in a mathematical setting and discusses future directions of research in promotion of identity exploration in preservice teachers.