Date of Award

Spring 5-2008

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Marcia A. B. Delcourt, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen A. Burke, CSJ, EdD

Third Advisor

Mary Cronin, EdD


This multi-case qualitative study, conducted in two elementary schools, observed the self-efficacy experiences of 67 5th grade mathematics students in daily lessons. Four classrooms were observed a total of 40 times for 30 minutes each. Two classrooms each used traditional instructional materials and standards-based instructional materials. Problem solving activity, interviews, a self-efficacy survey, and analysis of student work samples and teacher instruction materials were used to confirm information gathered through observation.

Analysis of information sources resulted in the development of four major constructs: social learning, feedback, modeling, and strategy use. Both groups experienced each construct however, students in standards-based classrooms were exposed to higher levels of each.

Recommendations for future research include the following: similar research with a more diverse socio-economic sample, research committed to detecting the background forces which promoted the site differences in social learning readiness, and inquiry into problem solving.