Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The doctorate degree has been the prerequisite for a successful career in college teaching. Throughout history the educational elitists theory for educators has not been questioned, even though students populations and teaching styles have changed considerably over the years. In this study the results of student evaluations of faculty were used to determine whether the educational degree of a mathematics instructor at New York City Technical College was a significant factor in students perceptions of an instructor’s effectiveness. During Spring, 1988 a ten-item student opinion survey was distributed to 738 students enrolled in forty-four mathematics classes. Fourteen classes were taught by instructors with doctorates, while the highest educational degree of the instructors in the other 30 classes was a masters. The results of a t-test determined no significant difference between the effectiveness of instructors with doctorates and masters degrees existed. To gain further insights a one-way ANOVA subdividing instructors into four different categories (Doctorate in Mathematics, Doctorates in Mathematics Education, Masters in Mathematics and Masters in Mathematics Education) was undertaken. Again the results indicated no significant difference between and within the mean effectiveness ratings of the instructors in these groups. The Scheffe’s Test for Multiple Comparisons of instructors with different educational degrees again determined no noteworthy difference between the effectiveness of these four categories. The effectiveness rating of full and part-time mathematics faculty members were compared disregarding the instructors’ highest educational degree between the mean SOS Ratings of these two groups. The results of this study were presented to the appointment committee of the Mathematics Department at New York City Tech. It was recommended, on the basis of the findings, that the present doctoral degree requirements used in the screening process to hire new faculty be less stringent. Furthermore it was suggested that the appointments committee interview all applicants with degrees in mathematics education since this background appears to give instructors the proper mix of academic training and pedagogical experiences necessary to teach in an inner city open-enrollment college.

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