Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Peter Kiriakidis

Abstract

The Georgia Department of Education requires students to earn 4 course credits in the area of mathematics in order to graduate from high school. Academic success for mathematics students in a school district in southern Georgia has been encumbered because teachers lack cultural competency in mathematics instruction, which has hindered minority students from developing reasoning, critical analysis, and problem-solving skills needed to earn these required math credits. The purpose of this project study was to examine teachers' perceptions of using culturally relevant teaching strategies to influence the academic performance of minority students in the mathematics classroom. The conceptual framework was Dewey's progressive education theory. Six high school math teachers were purposefully selected for face-to-face interviews. Interview transcripts were coded using the Coding Analysis Toolkit and analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings showed that culturally competent mathematics instruction is important when teaching minority students; however, math teachers were not adequately prepared to teach minority students. Based on the findings, a professional development program was developed for secondary math teachers. Implications for positive social change include increasing math teachers' cultural awareness during instruction to help minority students increase academic proficiency in mathematics.