Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Patrick O'Shea


The study school in Bibb County, Georgia had a passing rate of approximately 60% on 9th grade literature and composition End of Course Tests (EOCT). An instructional paradigm was needed to help provide quality instruction and facilitate students' efforts to meet the mandate for performance. Research supports differentiated instruction (DI), instructional technology (IT), Gardner's multiple intelligences, and Vygotsky's theory of constructivism as the foundation for quality instruction. This ex post facto study used a cluster sample to explore 2 questions. One research questions explored the effect of DI enhanced with IT on students' learning in 9th grade literature and composition class. The other examined the differences in EOCT scores between students receiving 9th grade literature and composition instruction through a traditional approach and those receiving instruction through DI enhanced with IT. One hundred and five 1st time 9th graders in a literature and composition class were divided into 2 groups. One received traditional instruction, and the other received differentiated instruction with technology. Pretests and EOCTs were analyzed using a t test to determine the difference between the 2 instructional practices. Both groups achieved statistically significant growth between the pretest and posttest; however, the treatment group scored a statistically significant 7.4-points higher on the posttest when compared to the controlled group's posttest. It is recommended that stakeholders read this study, revise budgets, and seek out grants to create classrooms addressing the needs of 21st century learners. Significant growth is obtained from instructional practices that include differentiated instruction enhanced with technology, and teachers must be trained in instructional practices that incorporate DI and IT in order to promote positive social change in the educational system.