Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Even though a school in Southern Virginia had been utilizing a variety of manipulatives, calculators, and computers to transition students through the concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) sequence; students did not meet the state proficiency requirement on the standardized math assessment. A qualitative descriptive case study design, grounded in Bruner's learning theory on the modes of representation, was utilized to explore fifth-grade teachers' perceptions of their math instructional practices. The central question was about 5th-grade teachers' perceptions of utilizing a wide variety of manipulatives, calculators, and computers to transition students from concrete understandings to pictorial representations before they embark upon abstract concepts. Data were collected through observations, interviews, and archival data. The data were analyzed through thematic analysis and coded through the constant comparison approach. The data collection revealed that the 4 participants were utilizing a wide variety of manipulatives, calculators, and computers to transition students through the CRA sequence; however, the teachers were unable to teach students to a level of mastery due to various barriers. The study's findings suggest that the research site would benefit from a three-day professional development plan, created to address the lack of teaching to mastery. This study will contribute to positive social change because it addressed the math achievement gap that is widening in America. This study's findings could benefit local, district, and state stakeholders as the project addresses teaching students to the appropriate cognitive levels to prepare for lifelong learning in mathematics, as well as for standardized assessments.