Benjamin RottTimo Leuders

Mathematical competencies in higher education

Epistemological beliefs and critical thinking in different strands of pre-service teacher education


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Assessment in higher education requires multifaceted instruments to capture competency structures and development. We investigate two aspects of competencies of pre-service mathematics teachers: a certain aspect of mathematical abilities (critical thinking with respect to mathematical problem situations) and epistemological beliefs (assessed by both belief position and belief justification). We investigated 463 students from two universities with respect to both aspects of competencies. We show that students’ belief position and justification are independent and can be assessed independently. Whereas belief position is not correlated with the number of the students’ semesters, their course of studies, and their mathematical abilities, belief justification is indeed correlated with these factors.

Epistemological Beliefs; Critical Thinking; Mathematical Competencies