Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Early Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Keywords

Teachers, Primary students, Mathematics, Integrated learning system, Gains

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to ascertain using multiple tools and methods, the impact of teachers' interaction with primary students on mathematics performance using the Successmaker Integrated Learning System to determine effective teacher practices. The sample of nineteen primary teachers from an elementary school in southwest Florida included five first grade teachers, seven second grade teachers, and seven third grade teachers. Data analysis included total years of teaching experience, years of experience in Florida schools, and years of experience at each grade. Both the total years of teaching and the years of teaching at the research site were correlated to the Student Gains Reports in mathematics provided by the Successmaker Management System. A Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient was computed to determine whether and to what degree a statistical relationship existed between the variables of years of teaching experience and student gains. Total yea

rs of teaching experience and total years at the research site revealed a significant correlation of 0.77 (p<0.001). The correlation between total years of teaching experience and average student gains was not significant ( r= -0.10, p = 0.674). The third correlation between years of teaching experience at the research site and student gains also was not significant (r = 0.03, p = 0.897). Therefore, years of teaching experience did not predict total gains. The qualitative analysis of data collected through interviews with the ITF and teachers who had the highest and the lowest student gains in mathematics at each grade, informal observations, and focus groups, revealed factors that appeared to contribute to teachers' styles and methods which affected student gains. Several factors influenced the styles and methods of the implementation of the Successmaker program. They included: (a) time in the Successmaker lab, (b) use of Successmaker Management System reports, (c) integration of Succ

essmaker into the curriculum, (d) motivational strategies, (e) newness to the Successmaker program, (f) influence of administration, (g) specific barriers that inhibit maximum effectiveness, and (g) professional development. Furthermore, these factors can be categorized into four general themes: (a) teachers' role, (b) teachers' expertise, (c) teachers' collaboration, and (d) teachers' attitude.

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