School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Nathan Putney


student-centered learning, secondary mathematics, teachers' conceptions, constructivism, reform-based mathematics




The purpose of this quantitative, predictive, correlational study is to investigate the relationship between high school math teachers’ conceptions of constructivist instructional practices and their conceptions of traditional teaching practices with their implementation of student-centered learning (SCL) practices in their math classes. Cognitive constructivism, theories of teacher beliefs, and teacher self-efficacy provide a theoretical framework for understanding math teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning and their use of SCL. This quantitative, nonexperimental study uses a correlational research design to investigate teachers' conceptions of teaching and learning and their implementation of student-centered instructional practices. The convenience sample included 68 high school math teachers in South Carolina. The teachers submitted online responses to the Teaching and Learning Conceptions Questionnaire (TLCQ), which produces two scores, one on constructivist conceptions and one on traditional conceptions. The teacher participants were also observed using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) to determine the extent which they use SCL practices in their classes. Using multiple linear regression analysis, the researcher examined the results of the TLCQ and RTOP. The results of the study show that the linear combination of teachers' conceptions of constructivist teaching practices and traditional practices may predict the level of student-centered instructional practices used in their math classes. Future research studies should consider using multiple observations, including other factors such as experience and self-efficacy, and a larger sample with a more diverse population.

Included in

Education Commons