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Praxis Preparation for Preservice Teachers: Using Online Tools to Engage in Productive Struggle

Sams, Nathaniel Lloyd (2022) Praxis Preparation for Preservice Teachers: Using Online Tools to Engage in Productive Struggle. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This paper presents findings on research-based interventions that were employed as part of a semester-long PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle at Davis & Elkins College (D&E) aimed at decreasing math anxiety while increasing student achievement on high-stakes standardized assessments with a focus on growth mindset and productive struggle. Based on data from 2015-2018, the success rate of preservice elementary teachers (K-6) on the mathematics portion of the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam was approximately 30% on first attempt at D&E. Drivers of this problem of practice include the attitudes, beliefs, and mindsets of test takers. Often, students who have a history of negative experiences in mathematics suffer from a cycle of math anxiety involving a lack of confidence and avoidance of mathematics. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were enrolled in online courses and the interventions included two free online courses: Stanford University’s How to Learn Math: For Students and Khan Academy’s Praxis Core Math. The interventions aimed to enable students to experience a more positive, productive cycle of math achievement. Results indicate that these methods were more helpful for some groups of students than for others. The characteristics of each group are noteworthy for future study.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sams, Nathaniel Lloydnls72@pitt.edunls720000-0002-6664-0137
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKokka, Karikokka@pitt.edukokka
Committee MemberQuigley, Cassiequigleyc@pitt.eduquigleyc
Committee MemberTrahan, Keithkwt2@pitt.edukwt2
Date: 10 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 August 2021
Approval Date: 10 January 2022
Submission Date: 3 December 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 112
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: praxis, growth mindset, supportive instruction, math, preservice, anxiety, standardized, high-stakes, productive struggle
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 18:18
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 18:18


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