Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of Student and Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs on Fifth-Grade Student Performance in Mathematics
by Frimer, Stephaine, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2017, 256; 10638809
Abstract (Summary)

Extensive research on attitudes and beliefs relating to mathematics has been conducted over the past 30 years. Although the focus of this research has fluctuated at times, the results of this past research has often been applied to educational reform efforts, especially in the areas of curriculum planning and professional development. However, as suggested by Clements (2003), Woodward (2004), Ellis and Berry (2005), and Berry, Ellis, and Hughes (2014), the impact of this research on the implementation of mathematics education reforms may have been limited, at least in part, due to the complexities surrounding the study of attitudes and beliefs (Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996; Philipp, 2007), and the complexities surrounding teacher change (Ertmer, 1999; Cuban, 2013).

In an attempt to provide expanded support for the inclusion of attitudes and beliefs as a fundamental consideration addressed in the implementation of mathematics reform efforts, this study was designed to test what, if any, correlation exists between fifth-grade student performance in mathematics and the attitudes and beliefs held towards mathematics by the students and their teachers, and then to identify some elements that may contribute to the formation of these attitudes and beliefs. To achieve these goals, this study applied a mixed-methods approach as defined and supported by researchers such as Creswell and Clark (2007, 2011) and Crabtree, Magill, Scammon, Tomoaia-Cotisel, and Harrison (2013). According to this mixed-methods design, only the common findings that arose in the triangulation of the quantitative and qualitative data were identified as the results of this study.

For students, this study found a significant relationship and strong correlation between the students’ interactions with others in regard to mathematics and their enjoyment with math, and a significant relationship and moderate correlation between the students’ enjoyment with mathematics and their performance in mathematics. For teachers, this study found a significant relationship and strong correlation between the teachers’ past experiences and how the teachers think mathematics should be taught (their disposition), and a significant relationship and moderate correlation between the teachers’ confidence with mathematics and the students’ performance in mathematics. The identified results for students and for teachers were connected to past research on attitudes and beliefs.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ross, Vicki, Markel, Sherry
Commitee: Guerrero, Shannon, Rimbey, Kimberly
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Education Specialties
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Educational leadership, Education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Attitudes, Beliefs, Education, Mathematics, Students, Teachers
Publication Number: 10638809
ISBN: 978-0-355-56691-8
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