Prospective teachers’ self-efficacy for preparing and implementing worthwhile mathematical tasks

Yürekli, Bilge
The purpose of this study was twofold. First, the aim was to examine prospective elementary mathematics teachers’ self-efficacy for preparing and implementing worthwhile mathematical tasks throughout a mathematics teaching methods course. Then, it was sought to investigate factors with impact on prospective teachers’ self-efficacy in the context of methods course and explain how each influence operated through hypothesized sources of self-efficacy. Nine junior prospective teachers participated in this qualitative case study, and data were collected basically through semi-structured interviews where participants were interviewed three times throughout the methods course. Findings revealed positive change in most of the participants’ efficacy beliefs, especially for preparing tasks. At the end of the methods course, 8 participants were feeling highly efficacious to prepare mathematical tasks effectively, while one of them expressed moderate level of self-efficacy. Regarding their efficacy beliefs for implementing tasks, on the contrary, only 5 participants indicated strong confidence in their capabilities. The other 4 participants were holding moderate level self-efficacy for implementing tasks after completing methods course. Additionally, it was found that various components of methods course (i.e. lecture hours, group work, feedback on group work, peers’ presentations, assigned readings, and examination) had impact on self-efficacy. Each of these elements related to the methods course created effect through one or more of the hypothesized sources of self-efficacy, mostly through vicarious experiences.