Date of Award

12-1997

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Mathematics

First Advisor

Dr. Christian Hirsch

Second Advisor

Dr. Zoe Barley

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Laing

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Harold Schoen

Abstract

During the past decade, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics published three documents (1989, 1991, 1995) which propose changes in content, instruction, and assessment. These documents call for instructional and assessment goals that support students as they construct their own meaning to mathematics. A next step is to develop assessment models consistent with these goals which would guide and support classroom teachers.

As a result of mathematics reform, many curriculum development projects are underway. One such project is the Core-Plus Mathematics Project (CPMP) . This research documents the assessment practices of four CPMP teachers working in 9th and 10th grade classrooms with diverse student populations. This information should prove useful as the research community develops assessment models consistent with a constructivist theory of learning.

The research used a case study design. Data included interviews, teaching observations, field journals, assessment documents, and teacher journals of a year-end Capstone assessment. Analysis involved two phases of coding. The first phase identified five major domains into which the teachers divided their assessment practices. The domains were: (1) group work, (2) the Checkpoint, (3) assignments, (4) tests and quizzes, and (5) projects. The second phase identified four themes that were used to compare participants. These themes were: (1) learning environment, (2) forms of communication, (3) teacher feedback, and (4) time.

The results of the research were the case studies of the 4 teachers. Each teacher was followed in each of the five domains as they planned assessments, collected data, analyzed the data, and used the results.

Comparison of the participants revealed that the learning environment was important for each teacher since much of the instruction took place in small groups. Teachers varied with the degree of success in producing that environment. Each teacher assessed students using both written and oral communication, although they differed on what they looked for with oral communication. Each teacher believed they had to provide feedback to students in all five domains, so time was a major issue. Even though the CPMP curriculum provided the assessment tasks, teachers required more time than what they had previously used to implement their assessment plan.

Comments

Fifth Advisor: Dr. Laura Van Zoest

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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