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The Development of Seychellois Primary School Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching and Self-Efficacy Beliefs through Reflective Practice: A Quasi-experimental Study

Moumou, Bryan George (2021) The Development of Seychellois Primary School Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching and Self-Efficacy Beliefs through Reflective Practice: A Quasi-experimental Study. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Primary school pupils in Seychelles are underperforming with low standards of proficiency in mathematics, relative to local and international benchmarks. There are concerns that primary school teachers might not have the appropriate Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) nor confidence to teach mathematics. While it is widely accepted that MKT, and self-efficacy beliefs that assist the development of MKT, are important for effective teaching, less is known about how they are enhanced through reflective practice (RP). Enhancing teachers’ MKT and self-efficacy beliefs is important because these have been connected to pupils’ achievement. This mixed-methods research explores to what extent the MKT sub-domains, MKT self-efficacy beliefs, and Mathematics Teaching Self-efficacy (MTSE), of seventeen in-service primary school teachers, in the areas of number concepts, number operations and word problem solving, are enhanced through RP. Using a pragmatic approach, this multiple case study integrates inductive designs and quasi-experimental methodologies to analyse reflective journals, semi-structured interviews, pre-post-tests, and pre-post questionnaire surveys, within an interpretivist paradigm. Independent-samples t-test, Paired-samples t-test, Cluster analysis, and Difference in Differences (DiD) methodology were used to analyse the quantitative data. The qualitative data were analysed thematically. This study employed Desimone’s professional development framework, Mezirow’s transformative learning theory (TLT), and the social-constructivist theory as conceptual and theoretical lenses respectively to frame this research. Analysis of the quantitative data revealed that there were no statistically significant differences between the intervention group and the control group in their MKT sub-domains and MTSE. However, the DiD estimator showed that the intervention group had a systematic increase in both their MKT sub-domains and MTSE levels through RP. On the other hand, there was statistically significant difference in the MKT self-efficacy beliefs between the intervention and control groups. Seven themes wove through the teachers’ ‘stories’, thus supporting positive influence of RP on MKT sub-domains, MKT self-efficacy, and MTSE of the teachers. Merging the qualitative and quantitative evidence indicated that the ten weeks of RP of the teachers started to have positive effects on their MKT and self-efficacy beliefs; not identified in previous studies. The teachers expressed positive change in their MKT and self-efficacy beliefs pertaining to the teaching of word problem solving strategies. Nevertheless, the results also demonstrated that educational change is difficult and requires commitment and time. This research makes two original contributions to knowledge. Firstly, to the MKT literature through a proposed framework for teachers’ MKT growth through RP. Secondly, to Bandura’s sources of efficacy theory through a typology of teachers’ self-efficacy growth through RP. The findings of this study are proposed as frameworks for teachers’ professional growth in the context of Seychelles and also in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Education
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 13:56
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 13:56

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