School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Sandra Battige


Mathematics Education, Teaching Self-efficacy, Self-efficacy Beliefs, Productive Disposition, Novice Elementary Teachers, Teacher Education


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the mathematical dispositions of novice upper-elementary teachers by exploring their experiences as teachers of mathematics in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Ball’s theory of mathematical knowledge for teaching and Bandura’s self-efficacy theory guided this study. The research project sought to answer the central research question: How do novice upper-elementary teachers perceive and describe their experiences teaching mathematics? Data, in the forms of audio diaries, individual interviews, and online focus groups were collected from a purposeful sample of 10 novice upper-elementary teachers. Data analysis followed a systematic procedure that included the 3 core processes of epoche, transcendental phenomenological reduction, and imaginative variation. Three themes emerged from this research: Life Changing Decisions, Connections with Students, and Rethinking Mathematics Class. The findings revealed how novice upper-elementary teachers aspire to put their students first and make a difference in the way their students experienced learning mathematics. Trends in their intentional actions and behaviors indicated a productive disposition. Further research is needed about teachers’ collective efficacy and the mathematical dispositions of secondary teachers of mathematics.