Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Transformative Education and Social Change

Committee Chairperson

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Curry Malott, Ph.D.


The foundations of American education are rooted in basic skills and mathematics curriculum is no exception. Over time, a desire for effective teaching and maximizing learning brings the debate of how math is taught to the forefront of the discussion. With an effort to develop a formula for student success and achievement, there have been more rules, standards, and restrictions for teachers than ever before. As a result, autonomy and professionalism are dangerously at risk. This thesis provides an analysis on the history and pedagogy of mathematics curricula, the various approaches and theories behind mathematics teaching, current suggestions and methods for reform, and what they all are missing. Without professionalism and autonomy, mathematics teachers will always be stifled in their roles. The fundamental goal of this thesis is to inform with hopes of reform. More educators, administrators, and professionals need to be aware of the consequences that result from a lack of teacher autonomy. The workshops outlines included are suggestions for implementation for use in a district where teachers desire to redefine autonomy in their classrooms, collectively brainstorm, and ultimately, grow as professionals with the common goal of maximizing student learning.