Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




John Harrison


AbstractMost English learners (ELs) face challenges upon entering schools in the United States. The problem addressed in this study was that more than half of middle school ELs did not reach basic proficiency on their mathematics inventory in a Mid-Atlantic school district between 2017 and 2022. The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the differences in the Spring mathematics inventory scores between low-English functioning middle school ELs (Level 1 entering and Level 2 emerging) and medium functioning middle school ELs (Level 3 developing and Level 4 expanding) who were instructed in the mathematics workshop model for 18 weeks and those who were not, while controlling for the Fall mathematics inventory scores. The mathematics workshop model and the study were based on Tomlinson’s differentiation theory which suggests differentiating instruction to students’ learning needs. An analysis of covariance was used to analyze archival data from 625 middle school ELs in six different middle schools. For both groups, no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups, with p = .91 for the 154 EL Levels 1-2 students and p = .63 for the EL Levels 3-4 students. These results contradict the current findings in the literature and therefore, it is recommended that districts evaluate the implementation of the mathematics workshop model. This study contributes to social change by bringing awareness to the unsolved issue of ELs’ struggle to learning mathematics due to their language challenges. As the mathematics workshop was not found to minimize this struggle, educators should explore additional models, resources, and support for ELs.

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