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                            Walden University
ScholarWorks
	2014
The Relationship Between Family, Personal, and School Variables and the Math Achievement of Elementary Students
	Regina Wicker Kerr
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Walden University
ScholarWorks

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies
Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Collection

2014

The Relationship Between Family, Personal, and
School Variables and the Math Achievement of
Elementary Students
Regina Wicker Kerr
Walden University

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Part of the Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, and the
Elementary Education and Teaching Commons

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Page 83

72




Professional Development

Professional development opportunities provide continuing education and support

for teachers and administrators on a variety of topics and in variety of ways. Each

professional development opportunity expands upon different goals, in different settings,

and with different support systems. The professional development opportunity for this

study was created to improve math academic achievement at ABC Elementary with a

faculty and staff fewer than 25 persons.

As discussed by Argentin, Pennisi, Vidoni, Abbiati, and Caputo (2014), effective

profession development (PD) programs were directed at “improving teaching skills, or at

updating teachers on their subject content, curricular changes, or other educational

reforms” (p. 103). A PD opportunity was provided for educators in a study conducted by

Argentin et al. The PD focused on “teacher practice and on math content” (p. 104).

Educators were provided with specific teaching materials, suggestions, and materials to

include collaborative work within the math classrooms. Also included was time for

teacher communication and continued support for teacher learning.

Argentin et al. (2014) conducted a study that examined the link between

professional development and student math academic achievement. The results of their

three-year study research study suggested that although no immediate academic

improvement was evident, “effects on students’ attitudes and teachers’ practices and

beliefs do appear” (p. 118) later on as the study continued throughout the three-year

period. Students’ attitudes toward math reflected a higher sense of responsibility for their

own learning and teachers began communicating more frequently with colleagues.

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73




Effective professional development opportunities address an array of topics to

assist teachers in leading students to proficiency levels for all areas of content. These

topics may include the alignment of lessons with appropriate standards, pacing guides to

allow for coverage and depth of understanding for each subject, and suggestions for

meeting the needs of low-achievers (Hochberg & Desimone, 2010). These initiatives,

according to Hochberg and Desimone need to be implemented “in real school settings in

a way that allows teachers to build their knowledge and skills for classroom practice,

which plays a central role in student achievement” (p. 103). Student achievement leads

to higher standardized test scores.

Implementation, Potential Resources, and Existing Supports

Prior to the conducting this study, I gained permission from the school district.

As previous research suggests, mediated instruction and classroom communities increase

academic achievement. The goal of this project is to provide professional development

on mediated instruction, classroom community building, and technology integration in

order to assist the teachers at ABC Elementary in increasing standardized test scores. In

addition to the support of the school district leaders and the school administration,

support was gained from the teachers of the 3rd through 5th graders whose scores were

included in this research. The teachers conveyed a commitment to assist in any capacity

to create and participate in the suggested professional development opportunities.

Potential resources for this project include literature for the book study, materials

for the professional development meetings, and examples of classroom community

building activities. The book utilized for the book study will be What is it About Me You

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