Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jennifer Mathes


Teacher professional development (PD) is acknowledged as an effective approach for changing teachers’ beliefs, practices, and behaviors to raise student academic achievement. A rural school district identified that 3rd grade math teachers felt inadequately prepared to teach the College and Career Readiness and Academic Standards (CCRS) standards for the state math assessment (STAAR). The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore third grade math teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness to meet the demands of the new third grade STAAR math test. Vygotsky’s constructivist theory from an adult learning perspective and Bandura’s self-efficacy theory guided the study. The research questions focused on the teachers’ perspectives regarding which specific math standards they needed additional understanding or support teaching. A basic qualitative study design was the methodological approach. Data was collected from 6 purposefully selected 3rd grade math teachers through semi-structured interviews. STAAR data from the past 2 years was used to identify low performance areas and referenced during interviews and coding of qualitative data. Interview data was analyzed inductively using open and axial coding to identify patterns. The findings revealed that teachers wanted to extend their knowledge in mathematical reasoning with number sense and problem solving through professional development. A professional development workshop was created as the project deliverable based on these concepts. The project and study may yield social change among elementary math teachers to better prepare them to teach CCRS standards for the math STAAR test.