Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Barry Birnbaum


Seventh-grade and eighth-grade special education students struggle to learn higher-order thinking skills in pre-algebra and algebra that can be addressed by using technology. However, little is known about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers' attitudes toward use of and their actual use of calculators and technology to access students' development of higher-order thinking skills. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of rural middle school Grade 7 and 8 STEM teachers in one Western state. This study used Gardner's multiple intelligences and Armstrong's neurodiversity theories as a framework. Participants were 10 Grade 7 and 8 STEM teachers in a Western state. Data sources included interviews, surveys, and teacher journals. Open coding allowed the identification of similar threads, common words, or expressions that were then examined for themes and patterns. The emergent themes included a need for training, teachers' technological expectations, and whether teachers could meet grade level standards and students have success. This study assists social change by informing school administrators and teachers how technology is and is not being used in the classroom and how its use can be facilitated in the future.