Date of Conferral

1-1-2010

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Pamela Warrick

Abstract

Low standardized mathematics scores resulted in a suburban middle school not reaching adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the 2 previous years. There were many possible factors contributing to this problem, among them the design of instruction. The purpose of this study was to identify learning styles of students and implement differentiated instructional strategies that address the learners' needs. The study was based on the Silver and Hanson's theory of learning style instruction and Gardner's multiple intelligences as a model for differentiating instruction. This sequential mixed methods quasi-experimental causal comparative design study investigated the effect of classroom intervention based on learning style differentiation on the improvement of mathematics achievement and the teachers' perception of learning style instructional strategies. An ANCOVA analysis of 8 th grade archival math achievement scores from a nonrandomized control and experimental-group pretest-posttest sample measured the effect of using a learning style strategy intervention on the experimental group. No statistical significance was noted for the student scores by instructional type. An anonymous teacher open-ended survey and classroom observations were used to determine teachers' perception of implementing differentiated instruction. NVivo was used to manage the qualitative data, and analysis revealed emerging themes of teachers reporting a better understanding of the importance of differentiation, and designing lessons to include learning styles' instruction. This study impacted social change by developing a working knowledge for teachers of learning style differentiation of instruction intervention so that student mathematical achievement may be positively impacted by a change in the design of their instruction.