Term of Award

Spring 1996

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Stephen P. Jenkins

Committee Member 2

Harbison Pool

Committee Member 3

Jim Stephens

Committee Member 4

David Stone


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) recommended that schools implement its Standards because they believed that the Standards improved students' mathematical ability. Every mathematics teacher in the state of Georgia had the opportunity to attend or be a part of a workshop, conference, or project involving suggestions for implementing the Standards in the classroom The problem for Georgia educators was to determine if these Standards were being perceived by principals and teachers, the key change agents, as having merit enough to change their views of how mathematics should be taught. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine Georgia middle school principals' and teachers' beliefs about the NCTM Standards and to investigate the process that took place in identified schools making changes in mathematics curriculum and instruction related to the NCTM Standards.

The study involved the use of two survey instruments, the Standards Belief Instrument (SBI) and the Foley Change Questionnaire (FCQ). The SBI was sent to the total population of 275 Georgia middle schools with a 66% return rate. The FCQ was sent to schools identified by experts in the mathematics field. Fifteen schools participated in the questionnaire with a 100% return rate from teachers and an 80% return rate from the administrators.

The results of the study relative to the research questions indicated some noteworthy findings. The principals and teachers overwhelming agreed with each other with regard to the NCTM Standard items on the SBI.

Principals and teachers agreed with each other on 13 of the 16 items. The different grade-level teachers also agreed with each other on the items. The principals and teachers disagreed with the NCTM Standards on 5 of the items. When examining the mathematics reform effort in Georgia, it was found all the initiatives were done at the system level.


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