The purpose of this phenomenological study was to take a deep look at Tier One instruction mathematics at four elementary schools in a suburban district located in southern California. All four elementary schools showed improvement on the California state test in mathematics from 2017 to 2018. Two of the elementary schools made over a 10% gain. The goal was to understand the work of the administrator and the teachers at these two schools in instructional strategies, the use of the district provided curriculum, teacher belief and comfort in teaching mathematics, and the teachers’ work in Professional Learning Communities. The two schools with the 10% increase were compared to two schools in the same district with similar demographics but showed less than 1% increase on the California state test. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in the form of teacher surveys, administrator interviews, and statewide assessment data.
Since all four schools showed an increase, the researcher found similarities in the responses from the participants. The responses from the teachers revealed that the number of hours spent beyond the contractual hours had a positive association to job satisfaction. The use of the district adopted mathematics curriculum did not have statistical impact on student achievement. All teachers used a variety of instructional strategies during mathematics instruction and there was not a specific strategy that led to student achievement. The administrators at all four schools attributed the increase in student achievement to the positive work environment and culture at their sites; they felt the teachers were all willing to do what was best for students. The researcher then compared responses from the two schools that demonstrated a 10% gain to the schools that demonstrated less than 1% gain.
The results revealed that the teachers at the two sites with the 10% increase reported feeling more prepared to teach elementary mathematics than the teachers at the other two schools in the study. Specifically, the teachers reported having more confidence to provide challenging tasks for the highest achieving students, adapting their teaching to engage students’ interest, and helping their students appreciate the value of mathematics. The teachers at the school sites that demonstrated a 10% increase discussed instructional strategies with their colleagues in Professional Learning Communities more than the teachers at the other two schools. The administrators at the two schools that demonstrated a 10% increase built teacher efficacy through specialized grade level professional development focusing on mathematics. The professional development was specific to the needs of the school site and allowed the teacher teams to collaborate and make decisions and changes to positively impact student learning in mathematics.
|Commitee:||Stephens, Cynthia, Merwin, Greg|
|School:||Concordia University Irvine|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Elementary education, Mathematics education, Instructional Design|
|Keywords:||Elementary education, Instruction, Mathematics, Professional learning communities, Tier one|
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