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Abstract

Mathematics methods texts are important resources for supporting preservice teachers’ learning. Methods instructors routinely assign readings from texts. Yet, anecdotally and also based on reading compliance literature, many students report that they do not read assigned readings. Within this paper we briefly describe the findings from a survey of 132 mathematics methods instructors about their customary use of texts and focus more closely on interviews of 16 preservice and first-year teachers about the reading strategies they used while reading methods texts. Research questions addressed the following: What strategies do preservice teachers use to make meaning of mathematics methods texts? What recommendations do preservice teachers suggest for instructors about the usage of texts? Findings suggest that most preservice and first-year teachers, at first, hesitated, not seeming to understand the first question and then struggled to explain their strategies. According to preservice and first-year teachers, instructors need to: balance reading with other ways to interact with the texts; discuss text readings in class; give them a purpose for reading; and, hold them accountable for the readings. Perhaps, both general content area literacy strategies and disciplinary literacy strategies need more emphasis in methods coursework.

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