Date of Award

7-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Noran Moffett

Third Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which student achievement in math could be influenced by teacher methodology and students’ perceptions of teacher expectations, teacher-student relationships, classroom climate, peer affiliation, parental support, student academic motivation, student academic self-esteem and socioeconomic status (SES). The results could be of significance to teachers and principals if students are expected to attain high academic standards set forth by system (Targets), state Adequate Yearly Progress), and national (“No Child Left Behind”) initiatives. A survey, developed by the researcher, was administered to a cohort group of 73 fourth grade students. The sample population for the observations consisted of the fourth grade math teacher (2006-2007) and fifth grade math teacher (2007-2008). Fourth grade and fifth grades are departmentalized; therefore one person is designated as the math teacher on each grade level. There was no specific criteria or restrictions used in selecting student participants. Rather, data from all submitted surveys were used. Data on teacher methodology were collected through classroom observations using the Observation Based Instructional Assessment instrument developed by Dr. Ganga Persaud. Observations were conducted by the school’s assistant principal. The related literature supported teacher methodology as the primary variable to student achievement. This technique provides teachers with a means to bridge the gap between the social environment of students and the academic requirements of the school’s curriculum (Little, Gearbart, Curry, & Kafka, 2003). However, based on data analysis, it was concluded that teacher methodology had a lesser impact on student achievement in mathematics than parental support and student academic motivation. Although, there was a significant relationship between student achievement and parental support as well as student academic motivation, parental support was more outstanding. The involvement of parents in the educational process is a key element in student achievement. The continuity of parental involvement at home appears to have a positive influence on children as they progress through the complex education system. This suggests that as more families support their children’s learning and educational progress, the more their children tend to do well in school and continue their education. Student academic motivation suggests as students take more ownership of their learning, this will increase classroom performance in mathematics. Positive academic motivation encourages students to be receptive and ready to learn, as well as challenge driven within their learning environment.

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