Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Education
This research addressed the following research question: which specific variable has the greatest predictive power of mathematical literacy and problem solving competency while controlling for socioeconomic status (SES)? The variables that were studied were categorized as follows: demographic and personal history variables, attitudinal variables, behavioral variables, and school organization and structure variables. Much of the existing literature cites SES as the most powerful predictor of math achievement. Using multiple linear regression modeling, this study found that many variables studied were determined to be significant predictors of mathematical literacy and/or problem solving competency while controlling for SES. Every category of variables had at least one statistically significant predictor: demographic and personal history variables, attitudinal variables, behavioral variables, and school organization and structure variables. The attitudinal variables had the most significant predictors of math literacy and problem solving competency and categorically proved to be the most powerful. The statistically significant predictors were categorized as major predictors and minor predictors of mathematical achievement. The variables with a significant but less powerful effect on math achievement are designated as minor predictors; these minor predictors include: gender, immigration status, student attribution to failure, perceived math support, number of minutes in math class, math education of teachers, and class size. The variables with the greatest significant and powerful effect on math achievement are designated as major predictors; these major predictors include: socioeconomic status, math self-efficacy, math anxiety, and math teacher certification. The associated predictive powers of the major predictors were greater than the predictive power of SES, the control variable. Even when not controlling for SES, the attitudes of students’ self-efficacy was the most powerful predictor of math literacy and problem solving competency. These results hold substantial implications in the areas of math literacy and problem solving competency for practitioners of math education and academic researchers. This study may be used to inform pedagogical practices, districts, policy makers, and future areas of research.
Hite, Malia L., "Believe and Achieve: An Examination of Predictors of Mathematical Achievement in Secondary Mathematics Students" (2014). Doctor of Education (EdD). 39.