How It All Adds Up: Factors That Affect Mathematics Achievement for Eighth Grade Students in the United States
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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The sample of this study consisted of 1,077 eighth grade students and 442 eighth grade teachers from nine states—Alabama, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Carolina during the TIMSS 2011 study. The instrument used to measure student and teacher self-efficacy, student task value, and teacher preparations were student and teacher questionnaire. The instrument used to measure mathematics achievement was TIMSS mathematics assessment for eighth grade. For this study, two scales were used from the student and teacher questionnaire, which included a total of 46 questions. The independent variables were student and teacher self-efficacy, student task value, and teacher preparation. The dependent variable was mathematics achievement. The demographic data revealed that of the study’s sample of teachers, 311 (70%) were female and 131 (30%) were male; the age range for teachers was between 40 and 49 years old. The demographic data also revealed that of the study’s sample of students, 5,180 (49%) were male and 5,297 (51%) were female; the average age of students was 14 years old. A hierarchical linear model was conducted to determine if self-efficacy and perceived task value predict eighth grade student achievement in mathematics. The test revealed that there was a statistically significant amount of variance in mathematic achievement (outcome variable) at the teacher level, which supported the use of HLM. Based on the random intercept model, the researcher concluded that student self-efficacy predicted eighth grade mathematics achievement. The regression with means as outcomes model assessed student mean achievement as related to teacher self-efficacy and teacher preparation. The results indicated that student mean achievement as related to teacher self-efficacy was statistically significant. Teacher self-efficacy was statistically significant when predicting mathematics achievement after accounting for student level predictors. Teacher preparation was not statistically significant when predicting mathematics achievement after accounting for student level predictors. The result of the chi-square reveals that there is statistical significance residual variance in the slopes.