A Longitudinal Study of the Attitudes of Early Childhood Preservice Teachers towards Mathematics
As in many countries, early childhood teachers introduce mathematics content in kindergartens in Turkey. Therefore, early childhood teachers should master a certain level of mathematics knowledge and are offered a mathematics methods course in faculties of education. Teacher training programs are also expected to improve early childhood preservice teachers (PSTs) attitudes towards mathematics (ATM). In this context, it seems important to investigate whether and how much early childhood PSTs’ attitude towards mathematics changed throughout their university lives. Our study was conducted with a sampling of 43 participants studying at a state university in the north of Turkey, in the Black Sea Region. The data was collected from early childhood PSTs using the same attitude scale in their 1st and 3rd years of study. The quantitative analysis of the data in SPSS 22 using t-test for paired samples demonstrated that the early childhood PSTs’ attitudes towards mathematics have improved from the 1st to the 3rd year. In our sampling, one-way ANOVA and t-test for independent samples revealed that the ATM of the early childhood PSTs were not associated with variables such as gender, the type of completed high school, total family income, and parents’ level of education. Based on the findings, it was concluded that the mathematics methods course offered to early childhood PSTs in their 2nd year might be effective in improving the attitudes towards mathematics.