Mathematics Teachers’ Perceptions of Practice: A Q-Methodology Study

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Jane M. Willburne
David A. Wagstaff
Dana Pomykal Franz
Drew Polly


The instructional practices enacted by mathematics teachers have the most powerful impact on students’ learning. In our study, we analyzed mathematics teachers’ perceptions of their instructional practices, specifically related to their use of actions that support high-leverage practices. Q Methodology was used to investigate the divergent perceptions of mathematics teachers’ teaching practices. Employing principal component analysis with varimax rotation, five factors were extracted that represented the perceptions held by 38 elementary, middle-level, and high school teachers from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Mississippi. We identified the five factors as: Promoting Students’ Productivity; Using High-Level Tasks; Promoting Sense-Making and Reasoning; Encouraging Mathematical Representation; and Acknowledging Students in Time. The mathematics teachers’ perceptions of their teaching actions that support high-leverage practices will benefit mathematics coaches, mathematics educators, professional development providers, and the teachers themselves.

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How to Cite
Willburne, J. M. ., Wagstaff, D. A. ., Franz, D. P., & Polly, D. (2021). Mathematics Teachers’ Perceptions of Practice: A Q-Methodology Study. Operant Subjectivity, 42. Retrieved from