Perceptions of Standards-Based Grading in Mathematics Among Middle School Educators

Thumbnail Image
Finlayson, Keegan
Issue Date
Item Type
Degree Name
Academic Department
Buy Link
The focus of this study is on understanding the perceptions of middle school mathematics teachers about the implementation of standards-based grading (SBG). The study employs a multiple case design using four Connecticut middle schools where standards-based grading was in the process of being implemented. In each school, three mathematics teachers and the school principal were interviewed using semi-structured interview protocols. The interviews were coded in multiple iterations, developing categories and themes. This study found that teacher perceptions were influenced by the impetus for and method of implementation, the role of the principal, the teachers’ beliefs about mathematics and pedagogy, and school and parent cultures. Implications of this research and recommendations for future research are discussed.
I would like to thank the following people for their time and support during this dissertation process. To my dissertation advisor, Dr. Frank LaBanca, you were very patient with me throughout this lengthy process, and I thank you for your insights and encouraging me to see this project through. To Dr. Jason McKinnon, you encouraged me to pursue my doctorate and provided me with professional and personal support throughout. Your encouragement to “get it done” made all the difference. To Dr. Marcia Delcourt, the coordinator of the EdD program in Instructional Leadership, I greatly appreciate your support and always making ensuring that I was on target throughout my time at WCSU. I could not have completed this without your organization and personal commitment to my success. To the participating teachers and administrators, thank you for the time you spent speaking with me about your personal experiences. Without your willingness to be open and frank about your thoughts and beliefs, I would not have had the wealth of data that I did. To my parents, Brian and Karen Finlayson, thank you for always being a source of encouragement and inspiration. You have done so much to push me to pursue my education and you have been a model for what hard work looks like. To my siblings, Travis, Amber, Sheena, and Jade, thank you for showing me the importance of having a supportive family in every aspect of our lives. Finally, to my wife, Sarah, words cannot express how grateful I am to you for all your support and personal sacrifice throughout this process. I know that it has taken away so much of my time, but you have always been there to encourage me and to do what was needed to help me reach my goal. I love you and thank you for everything you have done.