Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Math Teacher Perceptions of Professional Development
and Student Mathematics Performance
Michael Edward Smith
EdS, Tennessee Technical University, 2007
MA, Tennessee Technical University, 2006
BS, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 2003
Doctoral Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Education
The standardized math test scores at a Tennessee high school have trended below the state and national averages. One strategy to improve math performance is a pedagogical structure that facilitates peer interaction and discovery learning. A program of professional development (PD) designed to foster such interactive learning was delivered to 9th grade math teachers, but no assessment had been undertaken to determine the program's effectiveness. Guided by Vygotsky's social development theory, which states that student learning is affected by the interactions and instructional activities within the classroom, this concurrent mixed method study investigated math teachers' perceptions of the PD and its effectiveness in raising student scores on the end-of-course exams (EOC). Qualitative data were gathered from 4 teachers in order to explore deeper understandings of the PD effectiveness. These data were open coded and thematically analyzed. Findings revealed teacher perceptions that the PD was not effective, along with many insights for improvement of PD. The quantitative research question determined if there was a statistically significant difference between test scores of non-PD and PD students. The analysis used the independent samples t test to compare student EOC scores before the PD (n = 112) with the scores that were earned after the PD took place (n = 187). There was no statistically significant difference between the test scores in the first and second year (p = .06). These findings informed the creation of an improved plan for Math PD, including components contributed by teachers. The implications for positive social change from this study include a better understanding of math PD and student achievement at the local site, along with stronger preparation for students and the school community to succeed on EOC testing.
Smith, Michael Edward, "Math Teacher Perceptions of Professional Development and Student Mathematics Performance" (2015). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 301.