Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Lori Sanchez, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Mark Jimenez, Ed.D.


engagement, expectations, relevant lessons, safe teaching-learning environment, changing student attitude, growth mindset, self-efficacy


The purpose of this qualitative, intrinsic case study was to examine the perspectives of teachers and students as they pertained to how they understood and described effective mathematics instruction. The research population consisted of six ninth-grade students attending the educational centers in a regional charter system in California. The research population also included six high school mathematics teachers from the same regional charter system who had taught ninth-grade mathematics for at least two school years. The research instruments used in this study included semistructured interviews, observations, and an examination of artifacts. Interview questions were open ended and designed to capture the experiences, opinions, ideas, and feelings of the participants. The purpose of the observations was to provide a description of the setting and everything that occurred within. Interviews were transcribed manually, and the data collected through interviews, observations, and artifacts was broken down through the process of coding. Data gathered through the interview and observation process and the examination of artifacts showed that both teacher and student participants understood that effective mathematics instruction depended on the level of teacher-student engagement, developing and adhering to expectations, relating mathematics to real-life, and creating a safe teaching and learning environment. The voices of those closest to the issues presented in a mathematics classroom are of great importance in determining how to best realize effective mathematics instruction. It is hoped that further research in the area of mathematics reform includes the voice of teachers and students.

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