Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Professional Development for In-Service Mathematics Teachers: A Critical Connection to English Language Learner Students in Mainstream Classrooms
by Ross, Karen E. L., Ph.D., College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 2011, 179; 3465578
Abstract (Summary)

Empirical evidence from national and state assessments suggests a considerable lag in mathematics achievement among English language learner (ELL) students' compared to their English proficient peers. Three central issues complicate education leaders' efforts to improve ELL students' academic standing. First, the ELL student population is increasing in ever greater numbers and places a strain on the capacities and budgets of existing programs for English as a second language (ESL). Second, the diverse ages, ethnicities, cultures, native languages, levels of education, and socioeconomic backgrounds of ELL students present an array of academic needs that defy straightforward solutions. Third, the corps of mathematics teachers who can readily adjust content instruction for ELL students is outpaced by the growing numbers of ELL students in mainstream classes. The shortage of ESL-knowledgeable teachers is a concern because students who are taught by master teachers tend to achieve at higher levels than do students whose teachers are less experienced. In order to improve ELL students' performance in mathematics, greater numbers of certified mathematics teachers need to know how to best support students' efforts to learn academics while they acquire English language proficiency.

The present study examined Maryland's mathematics teachers' experiences with professional development on issues regarding ELL students, and on teachers' perceived self-efficacy when teaching ELL students. Empirical evidence suggested that in-service mathematics teachers feel less effective teaching ELL students than non-ELL students, and that ongoing assistance from ESOL experts is needed by in-service teachers to help them successfully address the needs of their ELL students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murphy, Melissa M.
Commitee: Pallett, Lisa H., Sullivan, Margaret
School: College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Department: Department of Education
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, English as a Second Language, Teacher education, Continuing education
Keywords: Continuing education, English as a second language, English language learners, In-service teachers, Mathematics education, Professional development
Publication Number: 3465578
ISBN: 9781124775883
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