Teachers' conceptions of successful elementary mathematics pedagogical practices of African American students

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study investigated elementary school teachers' conceptions of their beliefs and expectations of African American students, their pedagogical practices, and the rationale for choosing the pedagogical practices for grades 3 through at Star Maker Elementary. The researcher employed a mixed methodology. The Math Teacher of African American Students Inventory (MT-ABSI) served as the quantitative method. Frequency analysis was employed to analyze the survey. Qualitative methods included two focus group interviews and lesson plans analysis. The researcher employed thematic coding to analyze the qualitative methods. Although the results from the MT-ABSI indicated that teachers had low level beliefs and expectations of their African American elementary students' ability in mathematics, the teachers professed to have high beliefs and expectations and communicate them to their students by using real world experiences in their mathematics classes, providing extra help outside of the mathematics class, and expressing their expectations verbally and non verbally. Further results of the survey indicated that teachers professed to implement some best practices in mathematics classroom than other. These best practices included the use of manipulatives and informing students of state standards. Overall, this is in agreement with the focus group interviews and lesson plans with special emphasis on differentiating instruction, professional development, and lesson plans cycle. There rationale for choosing the pedagogical practices included building background, learners' preference, and reinforcement and advancement of skills.

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Mathematics education, Elementary education