Teacher Qualification Characteristics and Secondary School Students’ Mathematics Achievement: A Qualitative Study

Troy T. Brown, PhD


Many Grade 12 CSEC Mathematics registrants are consistently underperforming at their Mathematics examination due to their inability to grasp basic mathematical concepts. Teacher Qualification Characteristics appear to be related to students’ achievement in Mathematics. This qualitative study incorporated the Grounded Theory (GT) approach which generated a substantive theory that explained how five Teacher Qualification Characteristics were related to Grade 12 students’ 2016 CSEC Mathematics achievement in the British Virgin Islands. There were 33 participants involved in semi-structured individual and focus group interviews. The data revealed that teachers’ competence and content knowledge dictate that teachers should have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. Teachers’ professional certification allowed them to help their students transfer their mathematical knowledge. The more years of teaching experience a teacher has, the more likely their students will be successful at CSEC Mathematics. Professional development sessions should be subject-specific and relevant. Preparing students for life, fostering communication for understanding and making Mathematics simple are hallmarks in the academic coaching experiences. This qualitative study yielded 17 themes. These themes are evidence that saturation was reached that allowed for the development of the GT—Mathematical Mastery Maximization is not vacuous; it hinges on five teacher qualification characteristics.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v2n4p271


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