### Abstract:

Purpose
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a required
mathematics content course upon prospective elementary school
teachers at Brigham Young University. The investigation consisted of
three major areas: (1) attitudes toward mathematics, (2) basic mathematical
understanding, and (3) the relationship between certain selected
variables.
Procedure
Pre- and post- tests of basic mathematical understanding and
attitudes toward mathematics were given to the 186 students enrolled
in a required mathematics content course at Brigham Young University
during fall semester 1964.
A personal data sheet was completed by each student to obtain
background information. A Test of Basic Mathematical Understanding
developed by Vincent J. Glennon was used to measure the basic mathematical
understandings possessed by the student and Wilbur H.
Dutton's Arithmetic Attitude Scale was used to measure the students'
attitudes toward mathematics.
A t -test for matched groups was used to determine if the
changes in attitudes and mathematical understandings were significant.
A product - moment correlation was used to determine if a relationship
existed between certain selected variables. Item analysis was used to
determine the areas of change in attitudes toward mathematics and
basic mathematical understanding.
Findings
There was a significant improvement in attitudes toward mathematics
and basic mathematical understanding while the students were
enrolled in this mathematics course. The t -ratio was significant at
the . 001 level of confidence.
The following variables were found to have a positive significant
relationship at the . 001 level of confidence:
1. Pre -test attitude scores and final grades.
Z. Post -test attitude scores and final grades.
3. Pre -test scores on mathematical understanding and final grades.
grades.
4. Post -test scores on mathematical understanding and final
5. American College Test mathematics scores and pre -test
scores on mathematical understanding.
The following variables were found to have no significant relationship
at the . 05 level of confidence:
1. Pre -test attitude scores and change in mathematical understanding.
2. Changes in attitudes and changes in mathematical understanding.
Conclusions
The following conclusions were drawn from this study:
1. Most prospective elementary school teachers liked some
aspects of mathematics and disliked others.
2. The attitudes of prospective elementary school teachers
toward mathematics were improved by taking this course.
3. There was a significant gain in basic mathematical understanding
by prospective elementary school teachers while they were
taking this course.
4. Attitudes toward mathematics and basic mathematical understanding
were significantly related to success in this course as
measured by the final grade.
5. There was no significant relationship between attitudes
toward mathematics and change in basic mathematical understanding
while students were enrolled in this course.
6. The American College Test mathematics score is a good
predictor of success in this course as measured by the final grade.