Date of Award

Fall 12-6-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Jie Zhang

Second Advisor

Dr. Betsy Balzano

Third Advisor

Dr. Halquist

Abstract

Underachievement in mathematics is an ongoing issue in schools across America. Many students, beginning at the elementary level, are not motivated in mathematics and perform poorly. Part of the reason for this problem may be due to poor attitudes towards mathematics and poor teaching strategies in mathematics. In order to begin to remedy this problem of poor mathematics motivation and achievement, elementary teachers need to be aware and implement the best teaching practices. Research validates the best teaching practices of games, use of manipulatives, real life application, differentiated instruction, and integrating technology into mathematics instruction.

Once aware of the best practices, teachers can begin to implement them in their own classrooms which will begin to remedy the problem of low mathematics motivation and achievement among students throughout America. Furthermore, this research will aid college professors in highlighting the best teaching practices in their instruction. Professors can then include this instruction in their teaching and pass this knowledge on to their students, pre-service teachers, thus making them more confident and knowledgeable as future elementary school teachers.

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