Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Jullian Skelton, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Donna Graham, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Nicholas Markette, Ed.D.


at-risk students, middle school mathematics discourse, peer tutoring, collaborative learning, metacognition, inclusive education, zone of proximal development (ZPD)


Research literature shows that mathematics is a gatekeeper to success. Providing alternative opportunities for students to strengthen mathematical reasoning over algorithmic computations while problem-solving in a collaborative environment helps to prepare students to compete locally and globally. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate how an afterschool Peer Tutoring Club (PTC) affected academic performances and attitudes of Grade 6, at-risk or “at-promise,” (Samuels, 2020), middle school mathematics students. The gap found in literature revealed a need for additional research involving rigorous multistep problem-solving within peer tutoring programs. This study collected data from 46, 1-hour, afterschool peer tutoring sessions between December 2017 and May 2018. Six PTC tutees were selected as participants. The participants received cross-age and same age peer tutoring while utilizing a district aligned curriculum that consisted of multistep problem-solving. This dissertation addressed the gap found in literature by collecting qualitative and quantitative data from four instruments: (a) district’s math pre/posttest, (b) Attitudes Toward Math Inventory (ATMI), (c) participants’ work, and (d) participants’ exit interviews. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze both qualitative and quantitative data. The data was triangulated to answer the two research questions. The findings from the PTC study supported theory and empirical study evidence that peer tutoring improved academic achievement and attitudes toward math.

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