Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In a Northern California elementary school, school personnel were concerned that the math proficiency levels were low for 2011-2014 for low-Social Economic Status, SES, students and math teachers were not using the math professional development strategies provided nor consistently implementing the new math curriculum adopted by the district to support Common Core, CC, state standards. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore teacher perceptions regarding the math instruction related to students' performance. Vygotsky's social development theory served as the conceptual framework for this study. The study included interview data from 10 elementary teachers purposefully selected from Grades 2 through 5 who were known to meet the selection criteria of being a math teacher with 2 or more years of experience working with low SES students. Data from interviews, and archival documents were analyzed using inductive analyses and were analytically coded. The results of the analysis showed that the teachers wanted quality professional development that would prepare them to effectively teach math to struggling low-SES students. The identified themes were strategies teachers used to support low-SES students, instructional resources, effectiveness of professional development, and additional factors affecting low-SES students. Thus, the resulting project, Guiding Struggling Math Students Toward Success PD, provides math strategies for working with low-SES students and implementing the new math curriculum. This endeavor may contribute to positive social change by reforming PD opportunities to support teachers' practice and use of modifications during math instruction, ultimately increasing student performance in the elementary campus.