Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Second Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Havener


The purpose of this study was to investigate a high school Algebra I program through an examination of potential relationships among teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics, teachers’ instructional styles, students’ academic self-concept in mathematics, and students’ mathematics achievement in an Algebra I course. While a significant amount of research has focused on individual components of the study (e.g., instructional practices, academic self-concept), little research has been done to identify potential relationships between factors. Additionally, much of the available research focused on the elementary level leaving a gap in understanding how various factors were related to the success of high school students. Results of this study will provide teachers and administrators at the research site with information regarding the relationship between several factors shown to impact student achievement in mathematics in order to evaluate the current Algebra I program. Findings will also enhance the understanding of the relationships among teacher and student components, specifically, at the secondary level.

For this quantitative study, both survey and observational tools were used to collect information from teachers and students in the 2016-2017 school year. Teachers were surveyed using the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Teaching and Learning Beliefs Questionnaire to identify their beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics, and the researcher utilized the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) to determine how closely instruction in Algebra I classrooms aligned with constructivist practices. Students were given the Academic Self-Description Questionnaire II (ASDQII) as both a pre-and post-measure of their academic self-concept in relation to mathematics, and student scores on common semester final exams provided additional data for study.

Using a Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMCC) to determine if a relationship existed between various factors studied revealed few statistically significant relationships between student achievement and factors, such as teacher beliefs about teaching mathematics and the teaching style used in the classroom. Despite a large amount of research in education showing the importance of the teacher in relation to achievement, this study did not support a similar conclusion. Instead, the only statistically significant relationship shown was between students’ academic self-concept in mathematics and their overall mastery of Algebra content, as measured by scores on semester finals. These results encourage educators and administrators to consider the impact of student grouping for instruction and how to best support students for success in mathematics.


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