Inconsistency Among Beliefs, Knowledge, and Teaching Practice in Mathematical Problem Solving: A Case Study of a Primary Teacher

Tatag Yuli Eko Siswono, Ahmad Wachidul Kohar, Ika Kurniasari, Sugi Hartono


This is a case study investigating a primary teacher’s beliefs, knowledge, and teaching practice in mathematical problem solving. Data was collected through interview of one primary teacher regarding his beliefs on the nature of mathematics, mathematics teaching, and mathematics learning as well as knowledge about content and pedagogy of problem solving. His teaching practice was also observed which focused on the way he helped his students solve several different mathematics problems in class based on Polya’s problem
solving process: understand the problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, and looking back. Findings of this study point out that while the teacher’s beliefs, which are closely related to his problem solving view, are consistent with his knowledge of problem solving, there is a gap between such beliefs and knowledge around his teaching practice. The gap appeared primarily around the directive teaching which corresponds to instrumental view he held in most of Polya’s process during his teaching practice, which is not consistent with beliefs and knowledge he professed during the interview. Some possible causes related to several associate factors such as immediate classroom situation and teaching practice experience are discussed to explain such inconsistency. The results of this study are encouraging, however, further studies still need to be conducted.


inconsistency; problem solving; teacher beliefs; teacher knowledge; teaching practice

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