Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

3-2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Donna Graham, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Michael Jazzar, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Michael Hollis, Ed.D.

Keywords

discourse, mathematics, middle school, Standards for Mathematical Practice

Abstract

Student achievement in mathematics is correlated with factors related to student engagement. Improving engagement has the potential to improve student achievement at the middle school level. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics explicate eight specific Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs) that clarify the types of skills and learning dispositions associated with mathematical proficiency. The CCSS further urge teachers to engage students through pedagogical practices that provide opportunities to use the SMPs in increasingly complex ways. This study aims to identify how discourse is used as an instructional strategy to engage middle school mathematics students with the SMPs. Data was collected through a qualitative case study of a middle school mathematics teachers teaching five classes of mathematics to students at three grade levels. Instructional activities should be thoughtfully planned to emphasize independence and perseverance. A delicate balance of independent work and group interactions can support these dual goals. While discourse provides an opportunity to monitor students’ engagement with many of the SMPs, thoughtfully planned activities and questioning routines help to guide the discussions toward the intended learning target.

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Education Commons

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