Pre-Service Elementary Teachers Planning for Mathematics Instruction: The Role and Evaluation of Technology Tools and Their Influence on Lesson Design




Johnston, Christopher J.

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This qualitative study explored the roles which exist between pre-service elementary teachers and the technology tools they integrate into their mathematics lesson plans. A total of 35 pre-service elementary teachers participated in this study in which the researcher examined their lesson plans and reflection documents. The project occurred during a one-semester elementary mathematics methods course during which the participants were assigned to plan and teach three lessons, one of which required the use of technology. While writing their lesson plans, participants completed a three-page reflection document to explain their uses of technology. In addition, participants were asked to complete a survey, and selected participants were invited to participate in interviews. The results of this study suggest seven roles between pre-service elementary teachers and the technology tools they integrate into their lesson plans: Technology Not Used (TNU), TNU – Willing, TNU – Master, Master, Master – Servant, Servant, and Servant – Partner. Two of these roles, Master and Servant, have already been documented in the literature. The other five roles were identified in the present study. After qualitative analysis, the researcher concluded that access to technology, cooperating teachers, and prior experiences with technology had no significant influence on these roles. The results of the study suggest that curriculum goals do have an influence on these roles. Specifically, pre-service teachers who tended to choose the objective first and used technology to support the lesson objectives were found at the higher end of the hierarchy (Master-Servant, Servant, and Servant-Partner). Conversely, pre-service teachers who tended to give no explicit statement regarding the role of the objective to the lesson plan when selecting technology tools were found at the lower end of the hierarchy (in particular, Master). Participants primarily evaluated their technology tools on the basis of Surface Features (which includes Software Features and Motivation) rather than Content and Instruction (which includes Learning and Mathematics.) Finally, participants primarily identified affordances and limitations of technology tools which focused on Surface Features rather than Content and Instruction. The reflection document completed by the participants has potential for future use by pre-service elementary teachers in their mathematics methods courses.



Mathematics Education, Technology, Pre-Service teachers, Lesson Planning