Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Bush, William S.

Committee Member

Larson, Ann E.

Committee Member

McGatha, Maggie M.

Committee Member

Lee, Carl

Committee Member

Wilkerson, Judy R.


Mathematics teachers; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)


This dissertation examines disposition from a historical, theoretical and practical viewpoint. Chapter I introduces the purpose of the study: to apply Wilkerson and Lang’s (2007) Disposition Assessment Aligned with Teacher Standards (DAATS) model to develop an assessment framework for measuring secondary mathematics teachers’ dispositions toward mathematical problem solving. The study assumes secondary mathematics teachers’ positive dispositions toward problem solving and students’ productive dispositions toward problem solving are significant, beneficial factors in the mathematics classroom. Chapter II examines the historical, theoretical and professional literature on teachers’ dispositions and builds a case for: (1) the inherent value of teachers’ dispositions toward problem solving and (2) the examination of teachers’ dispositions toward problem solving from a normative theoretical perspective. Chapter III outlines the research design for developing indicators of secondary mathematics teachers’ positive dispositions toward problem solving. The study employed a mixed-methods design with two steps corresponding to the first two steps of Wilkerson and Lang’s (2007) five-step DAATS model and informed by the foundations of psychological testing (i.e, APA Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing) outlined by Miller, McIntire and Lovler (2011). Chapter III provides the rationale and assumptions for the design, descriptions of participants, data sources and data collection procedures, data analysis and validation procedures, methods for verification and trustworthiness, and limitations of the study. Chapter IV presents the results of the study chronologically by D. The chapter presents the observable behaviors, attitudes, and practices that are likely to be consistent with a secondary mathematics teacher exhibiting a positive disposition toward problem solving. The chapter concludes with an assessment framework designed to generate assessment items and methods at varying levels of inference. Chapter V examines the three central research questions, along with four refined research questions that emerged, and draws conclusions about assessing secondary mathematics teachers’ positive dispositions toward problem solving. The chapter provides implications for practice and recommendations for further research, and concludes with personal insights on teachers’ dispositions toward problem solving.