Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Juan Battle

Committee Members

Karen Koellner

Konstantinos Alexakos

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education | Secondary Education


Professional Learning Communities, Teaching and Learning, Teacher Collaboration, Expectancy Value Theory, Quantitative Analysis


In this study, I investigate the impact of teachers’ perceptions of professional learning communities on student algebraic achievement. Furthermore, I also investigate whether these relationships manifest differently for males compared to females. Research indicates that teacher quality and professionalism are considered the most critical factors affecting academic achievement. In this dissertation, I interrogate this issue by employing multivariate analyses using data retrieved from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) and 2012 follow-up. HSLS:09 used a nationally representative sample of over 21,000 ninth-grade students, which incorporated teacher, parent, school administrator, and school counselor input to create a context for student achievement in algebra. Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory and Eccles expectancy value theory serve as theoretical lenses through which to explore the impact of student and teacher characteristics as well as teacher perception of professional learning communities, as defined by HSLS:09, on students’ math educational outcomes. This study makes conceptual and methodological contributions to the field of teacher effectiveness by examining the effect perception of professional learning communities that involves teaching for mathematical proficiency has on student math achievement; by offering insight into the impact teacher perception of professional learning communities has on the algebraic scores of female and male students while controlling for student demographic and sociocultural factors and teacher sociocultural factors; and by making recommendations for schools, districts, and policy entities focused on strategies for improving teacher quality. This study has found that teachers’ perceptions of professional learning communities has a small significant impact on student algebraic achievement when are student characteristics are controlled for, however, perception is not significant in presence of other teacher sociocultural variables. The effect also manifests itself differently for male and female students.