Views of prospective elementary teachers’ about use of concrete materials in mathematics teaching

Yıldız P., Atay Mutlu A.

International Conference on Mathematics and Mathematics Education (ICMME 2019), Konya, Türkiye, 11 - 13 Temmuz 2019, ss.360-361

  • Basıldığı Şehir: Konya
  • Basıldığı Ülke: Türkiye
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.360-361



The importance of using concrete materials is emphasized in the middle school

mathematics curriculum which is applied in our country and based on studentcentered

approach. The new mathematics curriculum is based on the ability of

students to explore and make sense of mathematical knowledge through concrete

models. In order to use concrete materials effectively in mathematics teaching,

teachers should have sufficient knowledge (Çiftçi, Yıldız and Bozkurt, 2015; Pişkin-

Tunç, Durmuş and Akkaya, 2012; Yetkin-Özdemir, 2008; Yazlık, 2018). In this

respect, the aim of this study is to examine the prospective mathematics teachers'

views about use of concrete materials in mathematics teaching.

In the research, case study that is based on qualitative approach has been

used. The study was conducted in a state university's elementary mathematics

teaching program with 39 prospective teachers who took instructional technologies

and material design courses. 85% of the participants are girls. The data of the study

was collected after the completion of the course at the end of the semester.

Prospective teachers designed a concrete material in the form of groups of 3-4

people. The research data were collected through the interview form after this

experience of the prospective teachers. In the interview form, the participants were

asked four open-ended questions (eg. How concrete materials help to understand

the ideas of a mathematics concept?). The participants were asked to answer these

questions in writing. The data obtained from the interview form were analyzed using

content analysis method. In this process, the coded data were arranged and

interpreted under certain themes.

ISBN: 978- 605-184-176-2 360

The findings of the study showed that primary mathematics teachers think that

the use of concrete materials in teaching mathematics is important and effective. This

finding is in line with the findings of other studies (Çiftçi, Yıldız and Bozkurt; YetkinÖzdemir,

2008; Yazlık, 2018). Yetkin-Özdemir (2008) concluded that prospective

elementary teachers believed that the use of materials was effective in mathematics


Another result of the research was that participants think that the use of

concrete materials in mathematics classes made it easier to understand

mathematical concepts, concretized abstract concepts, provided permanent learning

and aroused curiosity among students. On the other hand, it was seen that preservice

teachers' ideas about how the use of concrete materials help to understand

and concretize the concepts of mathematics are general and superficial. In parallel

with these results, it is concluded that using concrete material provides similar

benefits in the literature (Çiftçi, Yıldız and Bozkurt; Ünlü, 2017; Yetkin-Özdemir, 2008;

Yazlık, 2018).

These findings indicate that prospective teachers need more experience in the

use of concrete materials in mathematics teaching. They need to acquire knowledge

to explore the relationship between material and mathematical concept. It is

important for prospective teachers to establish the relationship between material and

concept in order to provide meaningful learning.

Key Words: Mathematics education, concrete materials, prospective teachers.


[1] Çiftçi, K., Yildiz, P., and Bozkurt, E. (2015). Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Opinions

About Using Material, Journal of Educational Policy Analysis 4 (1), 79-89.

[2] Özdemir, İ. E. Y. (2008). Prospective Elementary Teachers’ Cognitive Skills On Using

Manipulatives In Teaching Mathematics, Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 35(35), 362-


[3] Pişkin-Tunç, M., Durmuş, S., ve Akkaya, R. (2012). Competence of elementary mathematics

teacher candidates to use concrete materials and virtual learning objects in mathematics teaching.

MATDER Mathematics Education Journal, 1(1), 13-20.

[4] Ünlü, M. (2017). Opinions of Pre-service Mathematics Teachers on the Use of Teaching

Material in Mathematics Courses. Theory and Practice in Education, 13(1), 10-34.

[5] Yazlık, D. Ö. (2018). The Views of Teachers About Use of Concrete Teaching Materials in

Mathematics Teaching. OPUS International Journal of Society Researches, 8(15), 775-805.