Preservice mathematics teachers' types of mathematical thinking: Use of representations, visual-spatial abilities, and problem solving performances

OLGUN B., Ader E.

10th Congress of the European-Society-for-Research-in-Mathematics-Education (CERME), Dublin, Ireland, 1 - 05 February 2017, pp.3968-3975 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Dublin
  • Country: Ireland
  • Page Numbers: pp.3968-3975
  • Keywords: Types of mathematical thinking, use of representations, visual-spatial abilities, word problems
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The main purpose of this study was to examine preservice mathematics teachers' types of mathematical thinking and to investigate whether there are any differences between different types of thinkers based on their problem solving performances, use of representations and visual-spatial abilities. The sample of the study consisted of 113 preservice mathematics teachers in a private and four public universities. The results showed that although problem solving performances were similar for each type of mathematical thinking, preservice teachers who adopted harmonic and geometric types of mathematical thinking preferred to use schematic representations more than analytic thinkers in their problem solving processes. The findings provided an insight about preservice teachers' preferences for a visual approach and the implications of these preferences for teacher education programs were discussed.