Publication Date

Summer 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Antony D. Norman, Margaret Maxwell, and Janet Tassell

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The presence of international schools has grown significantly around the world to accommodate a growing need for academic instruction that differs from that provided in local schools and to meet the rapid demands of globalization. As demands for international schools increase, demands for student performance are also increasing.

This quantitative correlational study seeks to determine if correlations exist between teaching style and student academic growth in mathematics within an international school setting. The study also determines if a dominant teaching style exists and if correlations between teacher grade level and teaching style can be made among international teachers who teach in the 37 international schools in the Quality Schools International (QSI) organization.

A number of studies have investigated factors affecting student achievement and examined teaching styles. However, little research on teaching style has been performed in an international school context. Research has consistently identified the teacher as the most important external factor affecting student achievement. The body of research outlined in the literature review of this paper suggested that external or background factors do not significantly affect student growth and achievement. Furthermore, the literature reviewed indicates teaching style significantly affects student adjustment, performance, engagement, and outcome.

While a statistically significant dominant teaching style was not evident, the Personal Model Teaching Style was the most dominant among overall respondents. Additionally, trends between teaching style and grade level were identified. The Expert and Formal Authority Teaching Styles were evenly distributed among upper elementary school teachers, while the Personal Model and Facilitator Teaching Styles seemed to be most common among lower elementary teachers. The Facilitator Teaching Style, followed by the Personal Model Teaching Style, yielded the highest academic achievement growth in mathematics among elementary teachers who teach in the QSI organization.


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education | International and Comparative Education