Term of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

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Committee Chair

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 1

Antonio P. Gutierrez de Blume

Committee Member 2

Gregory Chamblee

Abstract

Many students today struggle with mastering grade-level mathematics standards. School leaders have implemented mathematics support classes as a possible solution; however, not all students are showing significant improvement. The challenge is determining an effective mathematics support class that has the most positive impact on student achievement. As a result, the purpose of this research study was to examine the perceptions of principals, mathematics teachers, and mathematics support teachers on the impact mathematics support classes had on student achievement. This study employed a qualitative case study research design that consisted of one overarching research question and three sub-research questions that framed this research study that sought to uncover best practices within the mathematics support class, barriers within the mathematics support class, and ways in which the mathematics support class could be improved. Interview data were obtained from middle school personnel consisting of three triads of principals, mathematics teachers, and mathematics support teachers, with a total of nine participants, in a suburban public-school system in the state of Georgia during the Spring of 2020.

The findings of this study provided insight of the perceptions of middle school educators on the impact mathematics support classes had on student achievement. Descriptive data analysis was conducted to determine commonalities and provide recommendations regarding mathematics support classes in order to increase student achievement in mathematics. As a result, the analysis of data uncovered six overarching themes: best practices identified were implemented instructional strategies; barriers included lack of students’ cognitive ability and skills, lack of educator’s subject and pedagogical knowledge, and conditions of the class; and, improvements consisted of structure of the class and recommended instructional strategies. It can be concluded that the implementation of the mathematics support class was not as impactful as expected due to the myriad of barriers that exist. While there was not a mathematics support class that was deemed effective, the findings expressed a need to re-evaluate the current mathematics support class and make adjustments to meet the needs of the students to increase student achievement.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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