Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Dr. Lynn Hart

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Swars-Auslander

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Meyers

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Esposito



Over the last two decades, significant attention has been given to mathematics teaching and learning as demonstrated by national reform models (e.g. NCTM standards), and national standards changes (e.g. Common Core Standards). This attention generated increased pressure to improve mathematics teaching and learning. As a result, mathematics teacher educators came to identify a set of practices referred to as High Leverage Teaching Practices (HLTP), teaching behaviors that researchers believe improve the teaching and indirectly the learning of mathematics. While there are indications that there is a link between the use of these teaching strategies in mathematics and student achievement, research has focused on pre-service teachers with less attention on the use of HLTP by in-service teachers. To address this gap, this study sought to determine if practicing elementary mathematics teachers identified as ‘exceptional’ did in fact use HLTP and how they described their use of these practices. Through teacher interviews and classroom observations in-service teachers’ knowledge and implementation of HLTP in the mathematics classroom was examined. Results showed that even with limited formal professional learning experiences, these teachers enacted HLTP, albeit to varying degrees, and they described these strategies in their teaching. Additional themes that emerged included the low self-efficacy of the teachers with respect to their knowledge of mathematics and their abilities to teach mathematics.