Shelli Casler-Failing
Doctoral Portfolio

Department of Educational Theory and Practice
University at Albany

Inquiry Exam

Qualitative Review: 

Motivating Mathematics Learning: Changes in Teachers’ Practices and Beliefs During a Nine-Month Collaboration
          Turner, Warzon, and Christensen designed this study in an attempt to investigate whether teachers’ beliefs and practices affected students’ motivation to learn and understand mathematics.  The authors completed interviews before implementation of teaching strategies to assess teachers’ beliefs about how mathematics should be taught as well as to glean information about the manner in which they teach the mathematics to their students.  Although the researchers initially recruited six teachers, they chose to include the collaboration of three of the teachers.  The three teachers included were all female, with 6, 7, and 20 years of experience teaching mathematics to grades 6, 5, and 8, respectively, and were all certified as elementary education teachers.                                                Read more

Quantitative Review: 
The Development of Gender Achievement Gaps in Mathematics and Reading During Elementary and Middle School: Examining Direct Cognitive Assessments and Teacher Ratings

          This study sought to investigate when gender gaps in mathematics and reading occur among both male and female participants in kindergarten through eighth grade, where the gaps are most pronounced, and if the measurement instrument used to assess the students impacted the results.  The researchers also examined teacher assessments of the students in an attempt to find a connection between teacher expectations and student achievement, or lack thereof.   Although the authors provide a wealth of background information regarding reading and mathematical skills for both males and females in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade they do not use a theoretical framework to guide their research.                                                    Read more

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