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The Impact of Formative Assessment on Sixth Grade Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics

Malone, David J (2021) The Impact of Formative Assessment on Sixth Grade Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Conceptual understanding of mathematics is foundational for students as they develop higher-level mathematical skills. In the simplest of terms, conceptual understanding of mathematics means developing students’ ability to understand and explain why, rather than how, a particular concept is applied. Traditionally, K-12 teachers of mathematics in the United States emphasize the procedural nature of mathematics rather than developing students’ conceptual understanding of mathematics. Although there are many concepts embedded in the conceptual understanding of mathematics, Mathematical Reasoning (MR) appears most frequently in Common Core Standards of Mathematics. According to those standards, developing students’ MR skills is an integral component to developing students’ conceptual understanding of mathematics (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2010). We know from international research that American students fall far behind their counterparts in other industrialized nations, both on standardized tests of mathematics achievement and on tests designed to measure students’ abilities to apply their knowledge to solving novel and challenging problems (Richland, Stigler, & Holyoak, 2012). Research shows that the gap between U.S. students and those in other countries grows wider as students’ progress from elementary school through high school (Boston & Smith, 2009). Raising the overall level of mathematical proficiency of students in the United States can be seen “as both a matter of national interest and moral imperative” (Loewnberg & Ball, 2003).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Malone, David Jdjm203@pitt.edudjm2030000-0003-3622-8296
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato,
Committee MemberMannario,
Committee MemberTrahan,
Date: 31 August 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 July 2021
Approval Date: 31 August 2021
Submission Date: 29 July 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 70
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Formative Assessment, Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 18:08
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 18:08


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