Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Gary Schnellert


This study addressed the problem of low student achievement in elementary school mathematics and investigated the level of knowledge held by the teachers. Previous studies have shown that students who succeed in mathematics are more successful during their school years, including college, and earn a higher income level as adults. A theoretical framework of andragogy framed three research questions for investigation. The first question focused on the current professional development needs of the teachers. The other two questions investigated whether the mathematical knowledge relating to teaching (MKT) correlates with the socioeconomic level of the school or correlates with annual yearly progress (AYP) status. Randomly selected elementary teachers from 12 schools participated by completing a survey and taking an online assessment to determine their MKT level. There was no significant correlation between the teachers' MKT scores and the socioeconomic level of their school or the AYP status of the school. Results indicated the need for professional development in mathematical progressions and instructional techniques. Data also suggested that this professional development be adapted to meet the individual needs of the participating teachers. These data informed the creation of 45 professional development training modules for teachers. This study, with the recommended training modules, can initiate social change by providing teachers with individualized training and new instructional strategies to implement in their classrooms with their students, thereby promoting higher levels of student achievement in mathematics.