Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An examination of the relationships between kindergarten teachers' beliefs, mathematical knowledge for teaching, and instructional practices
by Scrinzi, Amy S., Ed.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011, 187; 3465083
Abstract (Summary)

This study was designed to address the numerous calls for research in the field of mathematics and early childhood education, providing important information regarding influences on teaching practices used with young children. Mathematical pedagogical beliefs, mathematical knowledge for teaching, and instructional practices of 29 kindergarten teachers were examined. The Self-Report Survey (Ross, McDougall, Hogoboam-Gray, & LeSage, 2003), the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (Hill, Schilling, & Ball, 2004) measure, and the FirstSchool Snapshot classroom observation tool (Ritchie, Weiser, Kraft-Sayre, Mason, Crawford, & Howes, 2010) were used to investigate these variables.

The research study employed a non-experimental quantitative research design. Descriptive statistics provided insight into each of the three variables and correlational statistics were used to determine possible relationship among them. Results indicated that the sample population favored more reform-oriented, constructivist based beliefs regarding mathematics than traditional practices; performed statistically significantly better on geometry items than number items; and used constructivist teaching practices, with respect to mathematics, an average of 15% of the time observed.

Correlational statistics were used to determine possible correlations among the variables and the strength of those relationships. A significant positive correlation of r = .384 (p = .05) was found to exist between beliefs and mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT). When examining correlations between MKT and the nine domains of pedagogical beliefs, a statistically significant positive correlation (p < .05) between Program Scope, Student Tasks and Teacher's Role and mathematical knowledge for teaching was found. These results led the researcher to believe that teachers who have a stronger mathematical knowledge for teaching tend to believe that the role of a teacher is that of a co-learner, favor the use of complex, use open-ended problems embedded in real life contexts, and believe that the breadth mathematics extends beyond number and operations. No other statistically significant correlations were found among the variables.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Day, Barbara, Ritchie, Sharon
Commitee: Friel, Susan, Greene, Jeff, Schwartz, Catherine
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Education - Curriculum & Instruction (Ed. D.)
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Early childhood education
Keywords: Correlations, Instruction, Kindergarten teachers, Knowledge, Mathematical knowledge for teaching, Pedagogical beliefs
Publication Number: 3465083
ISBN: 978-1-124-76764-2
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