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Assessing Mathematics Conceptual Knowledge and Teacher Beliefs in Secondary Mathematics


This session provided an overview of two research-based assessment tools. The first, the Precalculus Concept Assessment (PCA), has been used to assess both students' and teachers' understanding of function, the central concept of algebra and precalculus. The instrument has been refined and validated through the use with more than 700 students and instructors at both the secondary and entering undergraduate levels. The second instrument is the Views About Mathematics Survey (VAMS). The VAMS is a similarly well-tested instrument used to ascertain the attitudes and beliefs teachers and students hold about mathematics. Session participants were introduced to the theoretical frameworks supporting PCA and VAMS, the history of the instruments' development, and the range of research and practice applications in which PCA and VAMS have proven useful.