Building students’ mathematics self-efficacy through student-teacher trust
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A current national priority is improving secondary school mathematics performance. Middle school students’ trust in their mathematics teachers can lead to better relationships and increased feelings of competence, or mathematics self-efficacy, which is consistently linked to achievement. Student trust is based on perceptions of a teacher’s competence, benevolence, openness, reliability, and honesty. To determine the effect of trust in a teacher on student mathematics self-efficacy while accounting for the non-independence due to shared classroom experiences, hierarchical linear modeling will be utilized. Controlling for prior achievement, mathematics self-efficacy is expected to be higher for students who perceive their mathematics teacher meets more of the criteria for trust, with a stronger effect for low-achieving students. The implications of the outcomes of the proposed study suggest the creation of a training program to facilitate trust building between students and teachers. This report also includes an evaluation plan which details the components of the trust building program, a model for the program, and the proposed method to measure the reported outcomes.