Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiii, 132 pages) : PDF file

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Lynn M Gelzheiser

Committee Members

Deborah May, Kevin Quinn


Education, Instruction, Knowledge, Mathematics, Special, Teacher, Special education teachers, Fractions

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology | Science and Mathematics Education | Special Education and Teaching


Thirty-four certified special education teachers completed four instruments in addition to viewing video recordings of students engaging in mathematical tasks. The mathematical beliefs of special education teachers were investigated through the use of the Mathematics Beliefs Scales (Capraro, 2005). Special education teachers' mathematical knowledge was measured using the Fraction Knowledge Assessment, which included a range of fraction tasks drawn from state and national elementary level mathematics standards. The proposed instruction of the special education teachers was examined through participants' written responses to video recordings of students solving fraction problems. Demographic information was obtained through the use of a questionnaire. Results indicated that special education teachers expressed beliefs that tended to fall in the mid-range between procedural and conceptual mathematics beliefs. Furthermore, special education teachers' knowledge in the area of fractions was limited, especially when tasks were less procedural and more conceptual. Correlations between beliefs and knowledge were not found, nor between beliefs and proposed instruction. However, there did appear to be a relationship between mathematical knowledge and the instruction proposed by special education teachers. Significant positive correlations were noted between scores on the Fraction Knowledge Assessment and the number of conceptually oriented teaching strategies proposed, as well as between knowledge scores and the total number of correct instructional strategies proposed. Results emphasize the importance of increased teacher education in the area of mathematics.