Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

David Drew

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Tom Luschei

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

June K. Hilton

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2022 Eliud Partida


Mathematics Achievement, Multi-level Modeling, Racal Ethnic Minority Students, School Climate, STEM, Teacher Self-Efficacy

Subject Categories

Education | Science and Mathematics Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Current data suggests that for every 1000 U.S. high school students only about a dozen from Racial and Ethnic Minority (REM) groups will obtain a STEM degree and pursue a STEM occupation. These numbers underscore the wealth of untapped talent in our high schools and the pressing need to broaden participation among REM students in STEM. Yet, policies aimed at improving teacher quality as a vehicle for broadening participation of REM students in STEM use measures that at best, are only weakly associated with positive educational outcomes for REM students. This study contributes an ecological perspective and analysis to advance current conceptions, research and policy around STEM teacher quality and improving the educational outcomes for REM students in STEM. It applies multilevel modeling to data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to examine the relationship between Teacher Self-Efficacy and the Mathematics Achievement of REM high school students. The results showed that Teacher Self-Efficacy was strongly associated with the Mathematics Achievement of REM students, even after controlling for prior achievement, individual student characteristics, and teacher quality measures such as teaching certification, subject-matter expertise, and years of teaching experience. Furthermore, School Climate was found to moderate the relationship between Teacher Self-Efficacy and the Mathematics Achievement thereby underscoring the particular importance of both teacher beliefs and school context for REM students. The final model detected no Mathematics Achievement gap between the REM student subgroup and the general student population. However, Asian and Black students performed statistically significantly above and below the national average respectively. Finally, model comparisons revealed notable differences in the relative influence of individual, teacher, and school factors on the Mathematics Achievement of American Indian, Black/African American, Hispanic, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student subgroups. Limitations and implications for policy and practice are discussed.