Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language, Innovation, Culture and Education 2016

Effects of Teacher’s Beliefs and Personalities in Practice: A Case Study of a Mathematics Teacher

Soh Chiaw Ker, Cheah Swi Ee

Sunway College, Malaysia


Research has shown that teachers' personalities and beliefs about learning affect their behaviour and implementation of pedagogies in the classroom. Motivated by the need to further understand the effects of teachers' personalities and beliefs in practice, the study adopted a case study design to provide an explanation to this from the perspective of a single subject of study, who was a Mathematics teacher in a pre-university level. Data were collected from multiple sources of evidence, namely verbal and written interviews with the subject of study, the subject's teaching portfolio (extracts of teaching philosophy and a student’s feedback), lesson plan, classroom observation, as well as tests such as Educational Philosophy Test and the Big-Five Personality Test. Findings indicated that the subject’s primary educational belief, which was existentialism, and dominant personality traits, which were conscientiousness and extraversion, had a major effect on her lesson's planning and implementation, as evidenced from her lesson plan and classroom observation. Minor factors contributing to her lesson planning and implementation included class size, student knowledge base and time constraint, which were also taken into account. The findings provide insights for future research to match a teacher's educational beliefs and personality traits with his or her planning and execution of a classroom lesson in similar contexts. The findings also imply that the mapping of teachers’ beliefs and personalities to their teaching practices can be a crucial tool for professional development of teachers, which will inevitably improve students' learning.‬


Personality, Educational Belief, Case Study Design, Mathematics, Pre-University, Lesson Plan and Implementation

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