Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Carol Wade


The common core state standards in mathematics support the importance of persistence to mathematical problem solving calling it a 21st century skill (Common Core Initiative, 2010). The nature of true problem solving as outlined by Schoenfeld (1992) requires this element of persistence in mathematics. However, new research (Duckworth et al, 2007; US Department of Education, 2013) has identified multiple ways to be able to measure these non-cognitive skills, such as persistence, using a variety of methods. The purpose of this study is to use these methods to be able to determine whether mathematical persistence is predictive of mathematical performance in problem solving. A 6th grade class, in an urban setting was used to administer a persistence survey constructed from research (Kloosterman & Stage, 1992) and a mathematical problem derived to require a high amount of persistence. We use a variety of constructs rooted in the persistence survey developed by Kloosterman & Stage (1992) and time spent on a task to determine the predictability of these constructs to actual mathematical performance measures including academic performance on a task and standardized measures. It was seen that the time spent on a mathematical task was predictive of positive mathematical performance on that task. With limitations, this research is used to discuss the importance of developing persistence in students in a mathematical classroom.