Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Lynne Orr


The number of socially and linguistically varied students at two local high schools in a southwestern state located in the United States has greatly increased. Since the 2018-2022 school years, English language learners (ELLs) scored low on the state achievement mathematics test scores. The problem was teachers were challenged to support the mathematics achievement of Grade 9-12 ELLs. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of the teachers’ challenges in supporting the mathematics achievement of Grade 9-12 ELLs. The conceptual framework for this study was Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, which helped to inform the study in giving potential reasons why pedagogy and curriculum appear as a challenge for educators effectively teaching ELL mathematics students. The basic qualitative design included interviews with 12 general high school mathematics educators from two local high schools who have ELL students in their mathematics classes. The research question intended to understand the challenges of the ninth through 12th grade mathematics educators on the curriculum, instruction, and assessment of the learning of ELL students. The three major themes with 10 subthemes from the collected data included (a) lack of instructional training and support from other administrators, (b) changes needed in curriculum and resources, and (c) instructional strategies needed. A 3-day professional development series was presented as the project deliverable. The positive social change may be that educators will explore how to make a difference for ELLs in their classes and enhance equity in the classroom setting.