Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

David Kluth, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Clayton Alford, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Debbie Smith, Ed.D.


inquiry-based instruction, mathematics, early childhood, student engagement, teacher perceptions, student centered


Inquiry-based instruction has been pivotal in transforming classrooms into engaging student-centered learning environments. Utilizing inquiry-based instruction in mathematics in early childhood can help build a strong foundation in mathematics. This qualitative study examined the perceptions of teachers and administrators on inquiry-based instruction in early childhood mathematics. This study was guided by three research questions. This study took place at two public schools in NYC. Data was collected through a preinterview survey and interviews. The participants included nine teachers and three administrators. During the analysis process five themes were revealed: professional development, planning and preparation, student engagement, building foundational skills, and curriculum. Many participants felt strongly about the impact of inquiry-based instruction on student engagement and building foundational skills. Some of the participants revealed an increase in student achievement when inquiry-based instruction was implemented in math class. It was also revealed that professional development is vital for teachers to be successful in implementation of inquiry-based instruction. Working together teachers and administrators believe inquiry-based instruction can have a positive impact on students’ success in mathematics. Inquiry-based instruction in early childhood mathematics can have a positive impact on student engagement and student achievement.