Regarding the Mathematics Education of English Learners: Clustering the Conceptions of Preservice Teachers

Laura McLeman, Anthony Fernandes, Michelle McNulty

Abstract


In this article, using survey data, the authors examined conceptions about the mathematics education of English learners (ELs) from 292 preservice teachers (PSTs) in urban universities through cluster analysis to determine if certain background characteristics influenced the formation of homogeneous clusters. An analysis of the findings shows a two-cluster solution, where respondents in cluster 2 (n = 187) were more aligned with research on the mathematics teaching and learning of ELs than respondents in cluster 1 (n = 105). Further, a chi-square test revealed that PSTs with three characteristicsexposure to issues related to ELs, field experience, and being femalewere significantly higher in cluster 2 than cluster 1. The findings provide compelling evidence that exposure to EL issues impact the conceptions that PSTs regarding the mathematics education of ELs.

Keywords


English learners; prospective teachers

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