Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
School administrators and teachers must determine the factors most associated with academic success in order to meet the academic needs of all students. Researchers have identified general risk factors such as student socioeconomic status (SES), but there may be additional unidentified factors correlated to student achievement. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between a set of school, family, and personal demographic variables and students' math achievement. Bandura's social learning theory, Vygotsky's zone of proximal development, and Feurestein's mediated learning experience served as the guiding frameworks for this study. A descriptive correlational design was used to examine the degree of association among variables and how well the variables of students' SES, gender, ethnicity, attendance, and parental involvement predicted the math achievement among 115 students in 3rd through 5th grade at the study elementary school. Chi square and regression analyses did not reveal significant relationships among the predictor and criterion variables, indicating that the demographic, family, and school variables examined in the study did not predict student math achievement at the study site. These findings support the idea that math achievement is not necessarily predicated on variables extraneous to the teaching and learning process. A professional development project was designed for the study site to provide math teachers with best practice skills on differentiated learning strategies and classroom community building. This project study contributes to positive social change by providing educators at the study site with research-based findings on the relationship between student and school factors and math achievement, and with professional development on math strategies to improve the math achievement of all students.