Teachers’ Perceptions of Emotions and Instructional Strategies in Mathematics

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Heather Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tom Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Jazzar, Ed.D.


Teachers’ perceptions of emotions in mathematics inform their selection of instructional strategies for mathematics, which in turn directly impacts the learning of students. Teachers’ perceptions of emotions can hinder or promote students’ success. These teachers demonstrated awareness of the effect that mathematical emotions have on student learning and have adapted their instruction to promote student success. The purpose of this collective case study was to gain an understanding of how teachers perceive emotions and perceive instruction related to mathematics. Two research questions guided this study: What are the perceptions of elementary teachers in an Oregon school district as related to emotions experienced during mathematics teaching and learning? What are the perceptions of elementary teachers in an Oregon school district as related to instructional practices in mathematics? The sample was a purposeful sample consisting of 14 elementary general education teachers in grades K–6. The teachers taught in self-contained classrooms and were responsible for teaching math at some point in their schedule. The data collection instruments were face-to-face primary and secondary interviews and reflective journals. The inductive analysis model was used to analyze data recorded on the interview transcripts and reflective journals. The key findings of the study were that participants perceived mathematical emotions as profound factors in the success of students’ learning. The participants selected instructional strategies to support students’ positive emotional engagement with mathematics.

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