An Analysis of the Relationship Between Mathematics Beliefs and Mathematics Teaching Self-Efficacy in Elementary Pre-tenured Teachers
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Preparing students to be college and career ready with 21st century skills requires elementary classroom teachers to effectively understand and execute the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. In order to achieve this goal successfully, teachers need to possess both positive mathematics beliefs and mathematics teaching self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible relationship between mathematics beliefs and mathematics teaching self-efficacy in pre-tenured elementary teachers in Title I schools as well as the relationship of these constructs with demographic factors such as grade level taught, number of years teaching (0-3), level and number of mathematics courses completed in high school and college, and completion of a mathematics degree. While there has been extensive research on the teaching self-efficacy for pre-service teachers, there is a paucity of research focusing on pre-tenured teachers. An online survey based on a validated instrument, the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument, was administered to a representative sample of 125 pre-tenured elementary teachers. A moderate relationship between mathematics beliefs and mathematics teaching self-efficacy was found. Further, it appears that the greater the numbers of mathematics courses completed (high school or undergraduate), the greater the mathematics teaching self-efficacy. No other significant relationships were found with any other variable tested. Implications regarding these findings and possible next steps are examined.