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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rachelle Hackett

First Committee Member

Judith Hoorn

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Sadao

Third Committee Member

Deann Christianson

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


While gender differences in mathematics achievement and attitudes overall have been declining during the past two decades, there still exists a disparity in advanced mathematics achievement and upper-level mathematics course-taking patterns that contributes to fewer females than males choosing professions in math, science, and technology fields. This study used a secondary analysis of the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 database (NELS:88) and Walberg's Educational Productivity Model to determine whether gender differences in mathematics achievement testing outcomes, coursework, and attitude could be explained by the model and whether the Productivity Factors in the model operated differently for males and females, Productivity Factors from the eighth grade NELS:88 database were used to model the twelfth grade outcomes related to achievement testing, coursework, and attitude toward mathematics. Multiple and logistic regression analyses were run to examine the effect of the Productivity Model in accounting for gender differences in achievement (testing and coursework) and attitude. In order to accommodate the complex survey design of the NELS:88 database, the data analysis was done using Sudaan. Findings indicate that there are significant gender differences, favoring males, in overall math achievement, top quartile math achievement, and attitude toward mathematics, but no significant differences in math coursework. When the Productivity Factors are entered into the model, the differences in top quartile achievement and attitude disappear. Further analysis also indicates that a number of the Productivity Factors are significantly related to the achievement and attitude outcomes for males and females. Suggestions for further research and implications for parents and educators focus on the significant Productivity Factors which can possibly be modified through intervention or training, i.e., what Walberg calls the “alterable curriculum.” These include the motivational factors of expectancy for success, locus of control, and perceived usefulness of mathematics, as well as parental aspirations, classroom environment, peer influences, and television viewing patterns.




9780599568419 , 0599568410

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