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Title:Teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching, instructional practices, and student outcomes
Author(s):Copur Gencturk, Yasemin
Director of Research:Lubienski, Sarah T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):DeStefano, Lizanne; Baroody, Arthur J.; Perry, Michelle
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):mathematical knowledge for teaching
student achievement
Abstract:This dissertation examines the relationships among teachers’ mathematical knowledge, their teaching practices, and student achievement. Quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques (content knowledge assessments, surveys, interviews, and classroom observations) were used to collect data from 21 teachers and 873 students. Twenty-one in-service teachers who enrolled in a master’s program designed specifically for the needs of a partnership district were followed for 4 years to study how their mathematical knowledge as well as their teaching changed over time. Of the 21 teachers, 8 teachers were chosen for additional classroom observations and interviews. For the quantitative part of the study, two-level linear growth models were used to examine the effects of the mathematical knowledge of K-8 teachers on their instructional practices. After student-level data were added, three-level growth models were used to analyze the effects of teachers’ knowledge and instructional practices on students’ gain scores. Teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics were also included in some analyses. The results indicated that, compared with the initial baseline data, teachers’ mathematical knowledge increased dramatically, and the teachers made statistically significant changes in their lesson design, mathematical agenda of the lessons, task choices, and classroom climate. The gains in teachers’ mathematical knowledge predicted changes in the quality of their lesson design, mathematical agenda, and classroom climate. Teachers’ beliefs were related to the quality of their lesson design, mathematical agenda, and the quality of the tasks chosen. However, only student engagement was significantly related to students’ gain scores. Neither teachers’ mathematical knowledge nor other aspects of instruction (inquiry-oriented teaching, the quality of task choices, and the classroom climate) were associated with students’ gain scores. The qualitative analyses revealed particular strands of the complex relationship between teachers’ mathematical knowledge and their instructional practices. Teachers’ beliefs played a mediating role in the relationship between teachers’ mathematical knowledge and instructional practices. Teachers favoring standards-based views of mathematics tended to teach in more inquiry-oriented ways and ask more questions of students; however, among teachers with limited mathematical knowledge, these practices seemed superficial. Additionally, the teachers’ task choices appeared to be confounded by teachers’ current level of mathematical knowledge and their textbook use.
Issue Date:2012-05-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Yasemin Copur Gencturk
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-22
Date Deposited:2012-05

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