An investigation of the variables affecting the problem-solving achievements of pre-service secondary school mathematics teachers

An investigation of the variables affecting the problem-solving achievements



This research study shows whether secondary school mathematics teacher candidates’ reflective thinking towards problem solving, attitudes towards mathematical problem solving, metacognitive awareness, mathematics literacy self-efficacy, beliefs about mathematical problem solving, and problem solving success differ according to class levels or not and it indicates how these variables predict the problem solving success. In this study, predictive correlational research method, was used. It was carried out with the participation of 226 secondary school mathematics teacher candidates. The data were collected by using “Reflective Thinking Skill Scale towards Problem Solving”, “Whitaker Mathematical Problem Solving Attitude Scale”, “Metacognitive Awareness Inventory”, “Scale of Self-Efficacy in Mathematics Literacy”, “Beliefs About Mathematical Problem Solving Instrument” and “Problem Solving Success Test”. One Way MANOVA and Structural Equation Model were used in the analysis of the data. The result of the analysis revealed that the teacher candidates' reflective thinking, attitudes, metacognitive awareness and mathematics literacy levels were higher in the first grade than in the second grade, but they gradually increased again in the third and fourth grades. It was observed that the level of belief and problem solving success in problem solving improved as the grade level went up. In addition, mathematics literacy self-efficacy levels of prospective teachers directly predicted the problem solving success. The results of the study showed that reflective thinking, attitude, metacognitive awareness and belief variables predicted the problem solving success indirectly through mathematics literacy variable.