Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathleen Maury


As a result of the increased number of schools failing to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP), school districts are searching for innovative ways to raise student achievement and meet the rigorous performance standards set by state governments. Using the theoretical framework provided by brain research and the theory of multiple intelligences, the purpose of this quantitative study was to compare 2 middle school classroom structures for differences in mathematics achievement among students. The study examined whether a significant difference existed in mathematics achievement scores on the state-mandated mathematics test for 2 groups (single gender classes versus coeducational classes) in 6 middle schools during a 3-year period. Mean scores from the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) performance statistics in mathematics were used to determine achievement levels of single-gender and coeducational instruction. Study results indicated a statistically significant difference in academic performance for students in single-gender mathematics classes compared with academic performance for students in coeducational mathematics classes. Further, girls outperformed boys. These findings led to a project consisting of implementing a professional learning community and a series of professional development sessions for Algebra I teachers. The results of this study may contribute to social change by identifying an academic program structure in which all students can be supported academically while providing teachers with ongoing opportunities to collaborate and build their capacities with the goal of improving student performance.