Date of Conferral

2020

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Glenn R. Penny

Abstract

Quality issues existed in mathematics instruction in elementary classrooms in a region in Florida. As a possible contributor to that problem, principals were hiring and assigning mathematics teachers who may have possessed insufficient content knowledge. Elementary teachers are frequently teamed in the region, with 1 teacher assigned to provide instruction in mathematics and the other to provide literacy instruction. The purpose of this study was to understand factors elementary school principals considered when hiring and assigning mathematics teachers as well as possible budgetary and other constraints that may have affected the depth of the applicant pool and related staffing decisions. The principals’ teaching experience, background, and preparedness to serve as the chief learning officer were also considered. The theoretical framework for this study was the strategic management of human capital in public education developed by Oden and Kelly. A case study was conducted in the qualitative tradition. Data were collected by conducting interviews with a sample of 10 elementary principals from 7 districts in Florida. The data were coded and organized by theme. The findings illustrated inconsistent applications of human capital management practices due to a lack of formal training and experience, as well as a lack of self-efficacy towards mathematics. Further, findings uncovered a variety of constraints beyond those related to budgetary matters. Nonbudgetary constraints presented greater challenges than those related to budgetary matters. A 3-day professional learning experience was developed to deepen principal understandings of human capital management as applied to staffing practices in the context of mathematics. Principals who apply these practices may make better staffing decisions, leading to higher student achievement in mathematics.

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