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Factors Predictive of Mathematics Achievement
Mathematics is wonderful logic, full of interesting patterns. It is the language of science and engineering. It opens the doors to higher- level job. No employment can be managed without arithmetic, no mechanical invention without geometry. - Benjamin Franklin.
Education Reform is top of the agenda of almost every country in the world.
In today ‘s information age, education has become all the fundamental . Today, you can no longer drop out of school and land on job that pays a living wage. America needs the abilities and talents of all its children to succeed and thrive. If we help our children , we strengthen our nation. We must recognize that America's achievement gap hurts not just the children who are cheated of a quality education but the nation itself. (Secretary Arne Duncan,2010) .Secretary Arne Duncan.(2010) Crossing the next bridge Retreived March,16 2010 from http://www2.ed.gov/print/news/speeches/2010/03/03082010.html
According to Slavin 2008 “The mathematics achievement of America‘s middle and high school students is an issue of great concern to policymakers as well as educators. Many believe that secondary math achievement is a key predictor of a nation‘s long term economic potential .In countries other than the U.S., results of international comparisons of mathematics achievement, such as the PISA study and the TIMSS study are front-page news, because it is widely believed that their students‘ performance in math and science is of great importance to their nations‘ competitive strength for the future.
The dilemma of mathematics performance in American middle and high schools is not primarily a problem of comparisons to other countries, however, but more a problem within the U.S. There are enormous differences between the performance of white and middle class students and that of minority and disadvantaged students, and the gap is not diminishing.
. Clearly to advance in mathematics achievement, we must improve the quality of math instruction received by all students.
Clearly, to continue to advance in mathematics achievement, we must improve the quality of math instruction received by all students. What tools do we have available to intervene in middle and high schools to significantly improve their mathematics outcomes? Which textbooks, technology applications, and professional development approaches are known to be effective? Slavin, R.E., Lake, C., & Groff, C. (2009), Effective programs in middle and high school mathematics A best evidence synthesis. Review of Educational Research
( Weiss 2010) stated, “lso we need great teachers and great school leaders . Great teaching matters and great teaching happens more consistently in school led by great principals.” Weiss,J. Remarks of Joanne Weiss to the Annual Meeting of the American Diploma Project Retreived March,16 2010 from http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/09/09102009.html
As the President Obama stated in the Blue Print Reform ,“ Every child in America deserves a world-class education. Today, more than ever, a world-class education is a prerequisite for success. America was once the best educated nation in the world. A generation ago, we led all nations in college completion, but today, 10 countries have passed us. It is not that their students are smarter than ours. It is that these countries are being smarter about how to educate their students. And the countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.This effort will require the skills and talents of many, but especially our nation's teachers, principals, and other school leaders. Our goal must be to have a great teacher in every classroom and a great principal in every school. We must recognize the importance of communities and families in supporting their children's education, because a parent is a child's first teacher. We must support families, communities, and schools working in partnership to deliver services and supports that address the full range of student needs.This is a framework to guide our deliberations and shared work - with parents, students, educators, business and community leaders, elected officials, and other partners - to strengthen America's public education system.” President Obama,B( A Blue Print fro Reform , The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act( United State Department of Education March 2010).
According to ( Slover, 2008)), “There are a number of useful profit of engaging in rigorous math assignments. Achieve and others have found that Algebra II is an entrance course for higher education and teaches quantitative interpretation and reasoning skills important for the place of work. Achieve's research shows that advanced level mathematics courses such as Algebra II develop entrance to postsecondary learning, are vital for college accomplishment and are significant to many careers. students that complete such coursework are not only ready for work, they can be able to earn higher salaries and provide a better future for themselves. Many alternative students and girls, of all races and ethnicities, lack access to higher math classes or are discouraged from enrolling in them. ”. ( Slover, 2008) . ( Slover,L .Vice President, Achieve, Inc (2008) .Hearing on The National Mathematical Advisory Panel Report.)
Now it is up to us, as parents, teachers , leaders, and every person in the communities to to fix the problems that face our nation by providing the support ,the right tools, the high standard curriculm that help our children to compete in today's world. Students may fall behind in both academic and social skills if they are not exposed to the right method of instruction at the right time in their life. My report will illustrate the connection between important variables that affect mathematics achievement.
Student accomplishment in mathematics is affected by many internal as well external factors that can establish, preserve, support or discourage performance and academic achievement. Internal factors include the individual attribute or the outlook that students bring to their learning, such as their interests, shot, enjoyment, curiosity and responsibility.
External factors, include the school environment, community, peer groups. Way to increase motivation is through positive connections to others, such as role models and guidance. One of the main factors is ‘Teacher Influence and Method and Quality of intruction', which contributed about 50% toward student achievement. Other major factors are Parent Support, Peer Influence, Community Influence, student's Self Expectation, Guidance Influence, and so on. Therefore, the majority of the factors are controllable by the teacher. Of course, administrative support cannot be ignored. In fact without the administrative support teaching and learning may not be efficient in large school setting such as public schools..
High motivation and commitment in education have consistently been connected to reduced dropout rates and improved levels of students success. There are many factors that add to student' interest and level of commitment in education and teachers have little power over many of those factors. However research has shown that teachers can influence learnerS inspiration. (Brewster.C &Fager .J ,2000). Brewster.C &Fager .J (2000).Increase Student Engagement and Motivation.Northwest Reginal Education Laboratory.
Focusing on teacher quality
Teacher quality in mathematics and science has a significant impact on the teaching and learning process (Ferrini-Mundy & Schmidt, 2005; Hiebert et al., 2003; Lindquist, 2001; Silver & Kenney, 2000). Michael Barber and Mona Mourshed stated.
“We found that high- performing school systems, though strikingly different in construct and context, maintained a strong focus on improving instruction because of its direct impact upon student achievement. To improve instruction these high - performing school systems consistently do three things well:
* They get the right people to become teachers (the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.
* They develop these people into effective instructors (the only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction).
· They put in place systems and targeted support to ensure that every child is able to benefit from excellent instruction (the only way the system to reach the highest performance is to raise the standard of every student).”
Factors that affect individual students in the classroom. The teacher level factors addressed here are a function of decisions made by individual teachers, including instructional strategies, classroom management and classroom curriculum design.
What makes an effective teacher?
Research on teacher effectiveness focuses on relating teacher behaviors to student
Achievement. Effective teaching is the result of a combination of many factors. including aspects of the teacher's background and ways of interacting with others .
Effective teachers view themselves as responsible for the success of their students. They are truly believed that all students can learn... They work collaboratively with other staff members. (Brian and Jacobs, 1990).
Effective mathematics teaching
* Teacher's subject knowledge is above that necessary for the level of teaching
* Teacher makes the lesson fun, using humor whenever possible.
* Teacher has high expectation of what his or her pupils can achieve.
* Teacher gives clear, precise descriptions, explanations and instructions
* Teacher aims to construct a solid foundation in mathematics, building on what has gone before and preparing for what is to come.
* Lesson is well planned and managed.
* Praise is given when deserved and when not encouragement to do better. ( Burghes, CIMT, 2005)