Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Marcia A. B. Delcourt, PhD

Second Advisor

Gina Cicco, EdD

Third Advisor

Christine M. Salon, EdD

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes toward mathematics of students in upper elementary school and middle school. Their perceptions were analyzed by grade level, gender, and in comparison to the attitudes of their parents (or primary care givers). What teachers, administrators, and support staff do in the classroom is a vital element in the development of attitudes and achievement in the area of mathematics for all students. When the child leaves the school environs, he or she is exposed to a myriad of behaviors, attitudes, and opportunities with respect to mathematics, both positive and negative. Since the earliest and most influential model of attitudes comes from a child’s parents, that will be one focus of this study. As children grow older, other factors influence attitudes, leading to the focal points of age and gender.

For this research, children in grades 5 and 8, along with their parents, participated in a study to acquire information about their attitudes toward mathematics. The results of these surveys were compared to determine the proportional similarities of the number of responses made by parents and their children regarding their attitudes toward mathematics. A comparison of proportional relationships in responses was also examined comparing elementary and middle school children, and male and female students.

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