Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) Reading Education


Critical Literacy, Technology, and Multilingual Education


College of Education


Marjorie Madden, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Valarie Lee, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Kate Kedley, Ph.D.


content area literacy, math literacy, elementary education, self-efficacy


Mathematics--Study and teaching--Elementary


Elementary Education | Science and Mathematics Education


This thesis examines how students’ self-efficacy, confidence, and motivation change when students use content area literacy practices in math. This study was guided by the affective theories of Bandura, Maslow, and Guthrie & Wigfield. This study used qualitative research, focusing on collecting data through anecdotal evidence, student self-evaluation surveys, student journal responses, and a teacher research journal. Throughout the six week study, students participated in lessons focused on improving self-efficacy, confidence and motivation. Additionally, students learned to make connections between math and literacy through math literacy tasks, such as numberless word problems. Following the study, data was analyzed through triangulation and patterns were determined. The data collected and analyzed suggest that using math literacy practices with primary aged students improved their perceptions of their own self-efficacy. At the conclusion of the study, students had a better understanding of self-efficacy and their own feelings about their abilities to use math literacy skills. This study is relevant to elementary school teachers because it provides insight to help teachers make connections between literacy and other subjects for primary aged students.