Comparing South African Female and Male Pre-Service Teachers’ Beliefs about the Nature of Mathematics

Erica Dorethea Spangenberg, Chris Myburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Girls performing well in mathematics at school do not necessarily enrol for mathematics courses at South African universities. Teachers could be transferring beliefs about the nature of mathematics favouring boys. This paper compared male and female pre-service teachers’ beliefs about the nature of mathematics. A quantitative, descriptive research approach was adopted. One hundred and twenty-six mathematics pre-service teachers, enrolled for an undergraduate teaching training programme at a South African university, completed a questionnaire. While both genders hold the same Platonist and instrumentalist beliefs, females embrace lower experimentalist beliefs than males. Research on differences between male and female pre-service teachers’ beliefs about the nature of mathematics could promote gender equity in mathematics teacher training and better facilitation of the subject, which might consequently encourage more girls to opt for mathematics-related careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
Number of pages16
JournalAfrica Education Review
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • beliefs
  • female
  • gender
  • male
  • mathematics
  • nature
  • pre-service teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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