Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

David Shellman

Abstract

This mixed-methods research examined teacher self-efficacy in mathematics and the use of specific mathematical instructional practices in Grades 3-5 classrooms. The purpose was to examine the relationships among teacher self-efficacy of teaching mathematics, the use of specific mathematical instructional practices, and student achievement as measured by the North Carolina end-of-grade test. According to the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (2008), differences in students’ mathematical achievement are credited to differences in teacher characteristics including their self-efficacy in teaching and use of specific instructional practices. The study sought to add to the research behind that finding.

Correlational relationships among the variables were studied. The outcome variable was student achievement as measured by the end-of-grade mathematics test. The two outcomes variables were teacher self-efficacy of teaching mathematics as measured by the Self-Efficacy for Teaching Mathematics Instrument and the use of mathematical instructional practices as measured by the Teachers’ Instructional Practices Survey. Descriptive analysis, Pearson correlations, and multiple regression analysis were used to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative data were gathered through teacher interviews. The notes from these interviews were reviewed for themes and then compared to the quantitative data.

This study yielded strong to moderate correlations between teacher self-efficacy and the six measured mathematical instructional practices. Upon further analysis, the study found strong correlations between teacher self-efficacy for pedagogy in mathematics and each of the following mathematical instructional practices: cooperative learning; communication and study skills; problem-based learning; and manipulatives, models, and multiple representations. However, correlations between the frequency of the measured mathematical instructional practices and study achievement were not established. Weak correlations were found between student achievement and teacher self-efficacy in mathematics. Additionally, the study found that teacher self-efficacy was statistically significant to the prediction of student achievement as defined by student scale scores on the end-of-grade mathematics assessment.

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