TEACHERS' ATTITUDES AND FEATURES OF SUPPORT RELATED TO TEACHING FOR CREATIVITY AND MATHEMATICAL TALENT DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
Wadaani, Majed Rabhan
University of Kansas
Curriculum and Teaching
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This study further discusses creativity and mathematics gifted education, and synthesizes rational support of a proposed philosophy for teaching mathematics; Teaching for Creativity and Mathematical Talent development (TCMT). It also examined three variables related to teaching for creativity and mathematical talent development in the U.S.: teachers' attitudes, perceived support, and professional development. The major purpose is to contribute to understanding teachers' attitudes and enhancing school trends toward nurturing creativity for all students and meeting the needs of gifted/talented mathematics students utilizing broad conceptions of creativity and talent, and internalizing positive beliefs about student capability for success. The participants in this study included 93 elementary mathematics teachers from several states in the United States of America. The findings indicate that teachers hold positive attitudes toward teaching for creativity and mathematical talent development (M=4.02, SD=.45). In regard to the extent of support, responses indicate that teachers are somewhat supported to teach for creativity and mathematical talent development; the mean of the overall perceived support was 3.04, SD = .84. The inferential analysis also revealed that overall perceived support did not contribute of a statistically significant proportion of unique variance in teachers' attitudes toward teaching for creativity and mathematical talent development (R2 change < .0001, F change observed (1, 87) = .04, p = .85, α = .05). Professional development, however, was found to be the major variable accounting for a statistically significant proportion of unique variance (10%) in teachers' attitudes (R2 change = .1, F change observed (1, 87) = 9.92, p = .002). The implications of such support and professional development for teachers are discussed as significant factors on teaching effectiveness and student positive outcomes. Accordingly, recommendations for improving school environments and teaching quality are presented.
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