Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Secondary Education



Committee Chair

Lynn Stallings

First Committee Member

Nita Paris

Second Committee Member

Lim Woong

Third Committee Member

Paula Guerra


This study investigated pre-service elementary teacher’s performance on released items from the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 4th grade mathematics assessment. This study combined an error analysis of pre-service teacher’s errors with a chi-square test for association between type of error and question type as well as type of error and type of cognitive domain. Only number sense questions were chosen, and all questions included were rewritten to (1) be in free response form and (2) encourage pre-service teachers to show all of their work when answering the questions.The test was administered over a two-month period and an analysis of student’s results was conducted after all assessments were complete.

The error analysis indicated that these pre-service teachers made the following types of errors: number selection, missing step, computation, operation, random, and omission. Furthermore, the error analysis showed that the pre-service teachers who attempted the questions made mostly missing step and computation errors. A chi-square test for association was also used to determine whether a relationship existed between type of error and cognitive domain (knowledge, applying and reasoning) and between type of error and question type (whole number, patterns and relationship, number sentences with whole numbers, and fractions and decimals). The test produced statistically significant results between error type and cognitive domain, indicating a relationship between error type and cognitive domain. However, the chi-square test did not indicate a relationship between error type and content domain. Thus, the results suggest that the types of errors committed are similar for each question type.