Abstract by Amy Ross
Prospective mathematics teachers and their assumptions about students
According to Sleeter (2001), many prospective teachers have stereotypic beliefs towards their students when they first enter the classroom. Sleeter claims that teaching experience alone is not enough to rid oneself of these beliefs. In order for these prospective teachers to remove themselves from these stereotypes, they must come face to face with what they are normalizing and consider why it is problematic. I use the term normalize to mean the behaviors, beliefs, and lifestyles prospective teachers are assuming, taking for granted or considering normal. I use the term disrupt to mean the ways people challenge what is assumed, being taken for granted, or considered normal. The purpose of this research study is to observe exactly what prospective mathematics teachers are normalizing or being disrupted by in their discussions and reflective papers about Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics by Eric Gutstein. The data collected through video recordings of the prospective teachers in conversation with their peers and their individual reflection papers was analyzed to observe any patterns or themes of normalizations and disruptions that emerged.