Journal Writing in a Mathematics Capstone Course for Prospective Secondary Teachers: Future Teachers Making Connections
In the context of a Capstone course for prospective secondary teachers (PSTs) of mathematics, this paper examines how a journal assignment was implemented and how it can help us understand PSTs’ views of mathematics and mathematics teaching. First, the course design and specifics of the assignment are described. Then, details about implementation of the assignment are included. Finally, affordances of incorporating this type of assignment are discussed with examples of PSTs’ responses. The identified benefits include PSTs: (a) connecting new mathematical ideas to their prior knowledge; (b) identifying what they do not know; and (c) articulating the importance of reasoning and proving in mathematics teaching and learning. These benefits support the notion that using a journal assignment in mathematics content courses designed for PSTs can help them develop a profound understanding of mathematics content and practices.