Male Teachers Impact on Male Student Behavior and Achievement in Mathematics An Action Research Project By Walton Gamory EDUC 7202 T Spring 2011
Table of Contents • Abstract • Introduction • Statement of the Problem • Review of Related Literature • Statement of the Hypothesis • Method • Participants • Instruments • Research Design • Procedure
Table of Contents cont’d • Results • Discussion • Implications • References • Appendix(ces)
Abstract • Three have been a plethora of research studies on the topic of the impact of teacher gender and student achievement. Research suggest that teacher gender has a strong positive correlation on student achievement. Using a sample of six male fifth grade students who are having difficulty in mathematics, this action research paper aim to explore the impact of the relationship between male teacher/mentor and male student achievement in mathematics. Research found that male students did improve their test scores after being instructed and mentored by a male teacher. These findings support previous study on this topic.
Introduction • Historically, because teaching has been viewed as woman’s work, and that men who teach especially in the lower grades were lacking in masculinity, this has resulted in the overall reduction of male teachers. The problem is that the percentage of male teachers at the elementary school level has fallen regularly since 1981- when it reached an all time high of 18%. • This reduction in the overall number of male teachers has had a negative effect on the male student population in regards to student achievement level and behavior.
Statement of the Problem • Observation at PS X in the New York City elementary school system has revealed a direct correlation between student behavior and lower academic achievement in Mathematics, especially among male students of lower income single parent families.
Review of Related Literature • Boys learn more from men and girls learn more from women. • Marsh, HW, Martin, AJ, & Cheng, JHS. (2008). A multilevel perspective on gender in classroom motivation and climate; potential benefits of male teacher for boys?. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(1), 78-95. • Girls have better educational outcomes when taught by women and boys are better off when taught by men.(Dee, 2006)
Review of Related Literature • PROS: Research Supporting Male as Role Models • Male role models can improve the behavior and achievement of boys. • Thorton, M, & Bricheno, P. (2007). Role model, hero or champion? Children’s views concerning role models. Education Research, 49(4), 383-396 • Bandura, A. (1986). social foundations of thought and action; a social cognitive theory. Prentice-Hall,NJ: Englewood Cliffs. • PROS: Research Supporting Male as Role Models • Matching teachers and pupils by gender will improve boys’ engagement with school. (TDA 2005) • Pupils do better when there’s a match between characteristics of pupils and teachers in terms of gender and ethnicity. Carrington, B., & Shelton, C. (2003). Rethinking, role models: equal opportunities in teacher recruitment in England and Wales. Journal of Education Policy, 18(3), 1-13. .
Review of Related Literature • CONS: Arguments Against Male as Role Models • Policy makers and practitioners positioned the African American male teacher as a one-dimensional “role model.” (Dawson 2001). • Matching teachers and children by gender and ethnicity has little impact on attainment. • (Ehrenberg, Goldhaber and Brewer 1995)
Review of Related Literature • CONS: Arguments against Male as Role Models • More research is needed on why race and gender influence achievement. • This approach could have the unintended consequence of harming student who do not share the minority teacher’s demographic traits. • (Dee 2005) • Cerve, K. (2010, March 23). Program aims to channel more black males into teaching, particularly at elementary level. Beaufort Gazette,S C-USA, p. 1-4
Statement of the Hypothesis • Male students will have less behavioral problems and improve their mathematics scores if they were instructed by a male teacher.
Methods Participants:The sample of this action research study was conducted with six fifth grade students in Brooklyn, New York. The students background are similar both from a low level cognitive and mathematical achievement perspective. They are all from a non-intact one parent or guardian household. They are from low to middle income family economic structures and consist of all male students from African-American, Caribbean and/or Latino backgrounds.
Procedure The action research was conducted over a four to six week period from March to April 2011. Consent forms were given to and procured from the principal and the parents of the students involved in the research study. A pre-test was administered to the six students. The six students were given thirty minutes of additional Mathematics instructions and mentorship for three sessions per week. A post-test was administered to the six students at the end of the six week period.
Instruments Consent Forms From; Principal Parents Mathematics Survey Math Assessment 1. Pre-test (State math exam) 2. Post-test (Researcher created based on State exam)
Research Design • One group Pre-test-Post-test Design. In this pre experimental design one group is pretested, exposed to a treatment and then post-tested. The students in this action research project will be given a State mathematics exam as their pretest. Student will then be exposed to instructions three times per week for thirty minutes per session. A post test will be administered at the end of a four to six week period • Quasi-Experimental. • Symbolic Design: OXO. • Group was not randomly selected.
Threat to Internal Validity • History: Some of the students chosen toparticipate in thisaction researchdoes not haveexemplary attendance records. • Maturation: After selecting the students and reviewing the survey responses, I do see maturation as an internal threat. • Testing/Pretesting: I foresee the pre and post test as a threat because the students are familiar with the state exam and this knowledge may create test anxiety or over confidence is some of the participants. Hawthorne Effect • Mortality: I foresee this as a threat to my research study because a student moves or neglects to attend my sessions this may have a negative effect on the results of my post-test.
Threat to External Validity • Selection-Treatment Interaction: These students will be chosen from the lower performing students in their grade based upon their third and fourth grade mathematics score. There will not be a random sampling of students. • Ecological Validity: I think this study can be done in any environment because the premise is the effect of a male teacher/mentor on student achievement level.
Threat to External Validity • Pretest-Treatment: Students chosen for this action research may feel the test will not mean anything because it’s a test they have already been exposed to, and they know when the actual state examination in mathematics will be administered. • Generalizable Conditions: This model can be applied anywhere in the world because the research project is studying the effects of modeling or mentoring on students behavior and achievement level.
Results • The results of this Action Research indicated an increase in the post-test scores when compared to the pre-test. • The student with the highest score on the pre-test scored lower on the post-test. • The research data supported the hypothesis. • Information gathered in the review of the literature was supported by the outcome of my research data.
Discussion • Ironically the student with the highest score on the pre-test had a lower score on his post-test. Upon review of his post-test it was revealed that the student missed some of the identical problems he answered correctly. When questioned about the discrepancies in his results, he replied that he had a dream that morning about his mother dying. This explanation by the student was sufficient for the researcher to explain the lack of focus and consistency in the student’s responses to the test questions.
Implications • Further research is needed to properly assess the various factor which created the increase in the test scores • The period of intervention should be longer in order to validate the results. • Test scores should not be the only bench mark to measure student achievement.
Test Scores Comparison Tes t Scores Students
Correlation Data Attitude Analysis Math is my favorite subject. rxy= With 1 - strongly agree. 2- Agree. 3 –Disagree. 4- Strongly Disagree
Standard Deviation -2 -1 50 1 2 -2 -1 66 1 2 Pretest SD= 7.49 Posttest SD=6.24
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