Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

McGatha, Maggie

Author's Keywords

Mathematics coaching; Coaching; Lesson study; Professional development; Teacher practice


Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary); High school teachers--In-service training; High school teachers--Training of


This dissertation study examined a high school mathematics coach in the context of a three-year project called MAST (Mathematics Achievement Success Today) that provided summer content courses, lesson study, and mathematics coaching for high school teachers. This study focused in particular on the work of the MAST project coach as she interacted with classroom teachers and university faculty, and the subsequent impact of those interactions on both groups. The use of lesson study transformed the coach’s role into group coaching, an area of the mathematics coaching literature with only two studies. This study was mixed-methods study and used a combination of primary and secondary data. The secondary data were from the three-year MAST project and included coach and university faculty interviews, teacher surveys, teacher observations with the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP), a teacher focus group, audiotaped post conferences between the teachers and the coach, a coach’s log, and document review of the coach’s project duties. The researcher collected primary data after the project ended by conducting interviews with the coach and university faculty. Some of the key findings about coaching interactions included the importance of the coach’s rapport with teachers and the clarity of her role. Lesson study created a clear focus on student learning and helped teachers become more reflective. Changes to secondary teachers’ practice included successful implementation of new strategies, a willingness to try new things, a greater focus on student thinking and engagement, and increased content knowledge. Their overall score and subscale scores on the RTOP corroborated these changes in teachers’ practice. A unique contribution of this study not found in the mathematics coaching literature was the inclusion of university faculty, who expressed varying levels of impact from interacting with the coach. Two faculty members expressed how working with the coach impacted their practice. The mathematician reported an increase in the use of “toys”, better management of groups, greater sensitivity to gaps in student’s knowledge, and the importance of differentiation.