Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Edna Meisel, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Campbell

Third Advisor

Dr. L. Eric Lassiter


Over the past 30 years, there has been a growing need to strengthen educators’ mathematical skills through additional training. Nationwide, companies such as Exxon Mobile (1988) have created mathematics and science initiatives to improve teachers’ skills in the classroom. It is important that school systems explore ways to ensure students receive quality mathematics instruction from well trained, confident teachers who understand the content, can use instructional/assessment strategies, and to understand how students learn mathematics. The purpose of this study was to examine the confidence levels in mathematical content and pedagogy of graduates of the Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) program. This study presented what benefits the program provided graduates and graduates’ perceptions of their mathematics content knowledge and pedagogy due to participation in the program. This mixedmethods study used a convergent-parallel approach to examine perceptions of graduates. This study included a researcher-developed Likert scale survey, focus group discussion, interviews, and a review of course content and course syllabi to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicated most graduates had high levels of confidence in content knowledge and pedagogy across all National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards after completion of this program. High levels of confidence in this intensive EMS program validated the objectives of this program to provide graduates with greater mathematics content knowledge, differentiated instruction mathematical skills, collaboration among colleagues, mathematical leadership skills, and greater autonomy in their work.


Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary)

Curriculum planning.