Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. James Lampley

Committee Members

Cecil Blankenship, Don Good, Pamela Scott


The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in total scores on the Mathematical Self-Efficacy Scale, the mathematics task self-efficacy portion of the scale, and the math-related school subjects self-efficacy portion of the scale for middle school students between students assigned to a homogeneously grouped accelerated math class and students assigned to a heterogeneously grouped math class.

The instrument used to gather information for thus study on student self-efficacy was the Mathematics Self-Efficacy Scale (MSES). The MSES measures 2 domains of mathematics-related behaviors and capabilities. The Mathematics Task Self-Efficacy scale is designed to measure the level of confidence the student would have when successfully completing the given task. The Math-Related School Subjects Self-Efficacy scale is designed to measure the level of confidence the student would have when successfully completing a college level course with a final grade of an A or B. The 2 parts of the MSES may be individually scored or holistically scored to obtain a total score representing overall mathematical self-efficacy.

Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data for the 9 research questions. Participants in the study were randomly assigned to the heterogeneous or homogeneous groups by their schools and were not controlled by the researcher. Students within the groups were chosen as participants based on their math ability and scores on the seventh grade TCAP test. At the time of the survey these students attended either a K-8 elementary school or a middle school in Northeast Tennessee. The population consisted of 357 gifted or talented eighth grade math students in 6 school districts in Northeast Tennessee.

The results of this study does not support or discourage the practice of acceleration by retaining 7 of the 9 null hypotheses that there are no significant difference in self-efficacy scores between homogeneous grouped eighth grade math students who were placed in accelerated coursework by taking Algebra I and those students who were heterogeneously grouped in a regular eighth grade math class.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.