Pre-Service Primary School Teachers' Motivation for Learning Mathematics

Daria Rovan , Goran Trupčević, Dubravka Glasnović Gracin


The aim of the study was to explore pre-service primary
school teachers' motivational beliefs about mathematics in
the light of the expectancy-value theory. We wanted to find
out to what extent the motivational beliefs of pre-service
teachers are related to their previous experiences in
mathematics and to their engagement in learning
mathematics and mathematics anxiety. The participants were
237 pre-service primary school teachers in their first year of
study. They completed a mathematics exam and a
questionnaire on their motivational beliefs (self-efficacy and
subjective value), previous experiences in mathematics (level
of high school math program, mathematics competencies,
epistemic beliefs and achievement goals during high school),
engagement and mathematics anxiety. The results of
hierarchical regression analyses show that previous
experiences with mathematics are important predictors of
self-efficacy and subjective value. Furthermore, motivational
beliefs are significant predictors of the pre-service teachers'
engagement in learning mathematics and mathematics
anxiety, along with their previous experiences with
mathematics. The results are in line with the expectancy-
-value theory and indicate that it is important to foster the
development of adaptive beliefs about mathematics during
the initial education of pre-service teachers.


teacher education; mathematics education; motivation; self-efficacy; subjective value

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