Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Elementary mathematics: Not so elementary
by Scillieri, Elissa Mains, Ed.D., College of Saint Elizabeth, 2012, 188; 3504066
Abstract (Summary)

International tests indicate that United States students have been outscored by other countries in the area of mathematics. Researchers warn that elementary mathematics curricula and instruction in this country is not designed around helping students achieve mathematics proficiency. Much of this could also be attributed to the weak development and support of elementary teachers' mathematical understanding. This mixed-methods study was designed to explore the proficiency of students in the Riverwood Township School District and to investigate the degree to which the curriculum, instruction, and professional development in the district supported elementary students' mathematical proficiency. Preliminary research in the district indicated that elementary teachers believed that their students were not performing to their highest potential in the area of mathematics.

The research sample included regular and special education teachers who taught mathematics in grades K-5 in the Riverwood Township School District as well as staff members with additional insight into the state of elementary mathematics in the district. Data collection methods included interviews, focus groups, surveys, and document reviews. The data was coded and organized by research question.

After an analysis of the data, thirteen findings emerged. These findings indicated gaps in mathematical proficiency among elementary students, a grade 3–5 curriculum that spirals instead of focusing on deep understanding, and a lack of professional development offered in the area of elementary mathematics. Recommendations were offered to the Riverwood Township School District in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and teacher development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Crews, John
Commitee: Mittricker, Margaret, Winters, Laura
School: College of Saint Elizabeth
Department: Education Department
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Elementary education
Keywords: Elementary mathematics, Elementary mathematics curriculum, Elementary mathematics instruction, Elementary mathematics professional development, Elementary mathematics proficiency
Publication Number: 3504066
ISBN: 9781267279576
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