Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The study was designed to examine the profile of early childhood teachers' content-specific knowledge, also referred to as pedagogical content knowledge, in early mathematics (PCK-EM) and investigate how PCK-EM relates to the quality of their mathematics teaching quality and students' mathematical learning outcomes. A total of 182 teachers working with high need students from Pre-K through Grade 3 in an urban public school system participated in the study and analyzed a video of mathematics teaching through an online survey. The results painted a bleak picture regarding the profile of early childhood teachers' PCK-EM: as a whole, teachers' survey responses lacked an in-depth understanding of foundational mathematical knowledge, student mathematical learning, and effective mathematical teaching strategies. The results also suggested that teachers' PCK-EM significantly predicted their quality of math teaching, beyond their years of teaching and hours in pre-service and in-service workshops related to math education. Finally, teachers' conceptual understanding of foundational mathematics significantly predicted students' learning at the classroom level. These findings highlight the significant role of early childhood teachers' knowledge in promoting students' mathematical learning and the need for helping these professionals improve their understanding of foundational mathematics and how it is taught.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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