Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

102

Date

2010

Date of Award

7-26-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Ed Psychology and Research

Concentration

Educational Psychology

Committee Chair

Karen D Weddle-West

Committee Member

Ernest A Rakow

Committee Member

Susan Magun-Jackson

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to explore the effects of race, gender, school poverty concentration and students’ and peers’ educational values on mathematics achievement, controlling for prior mathematics achievement and highest level of mathematics taken. Data were selected from the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002). The sample for this analysis consisted of 1,200 native English-speaking students from urban and suburban public schools. Ordinary least squares regression analyses were used to determine the effects in the model. Results revealed that African American students, females and students who attended schools with a higher concentration of poverty had higher educational values, but lower prior mathematics achievement scores than did their counterparts. Additionally, African American students and females felt that their peers had higher educational values than did Caucasian and male students. Finally, students who attended schools with higher concentrations of poverty took lower levels of mathematics courses. Students with higher educational values, those with higher prior mathematics achievement and those who took higher levels of mathematics courses had higher mathematics achievement. The overall findings of the path analysis revealed that African American students, females and those who attended schools with higher concentrations of poverty performed more poorly in mathematics than did their counterparts. African American students had higher self-reported educational values and these values were associated with higher mathematics achievement. However, as a whole, African Americans performed worse in mathematics than did Caucasian students. This was possibly because African American students had lower prior mathematics achievement, which had a much larger influence on mathematics achievement than did their educational values. Although African American students may have understood the value of education, their preparation in mathematics may not have allowed this valuing to translate into higher mathematics achievement scores. Similarly, students who attended schools with higher concentrations of poverty had higher educational values, which was associated with higher mathematics achievement. However, these students had lower prior mathematics achievement and took lower levels of mathematics courses throughout high school, which resulted in lower mathematics achievement.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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