Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timothy Lafferty


An increasing number of students in a rural elementary school have not met the mathematics proficiency benchmark. Despite these changes made to mathematic curriculum and instruction, student data continued to indicate an increasing number of students in Grades 3–6 had not met the mathematics proficiency standard. The purpose of this study was to investigate perceptions of elementary mathematics teachers in Grades 3–6 and administrators regarding instructional resources, strategies used to teach mathematics, and professional development for teaching mathematics. Archer and Hughes’ concept of explicit instruction formed the conceptual framework that guided this study. The research questions for this study addressed rural elementary administrator and teacher perceptions about instructional resources, teaching strategies, and professional development to improve mathematics instruction. A basic qualitative design was used to capture the insights of 10 mathematics teachers of Grades 3–6 through semi-structured interviews. A purposeful sampling process was used to select participants. Emergent themes were identified through open coding, and the findings were checked for trustworthiness through member checking, detailed descriptions, and researcher reflection. Findings indicated that participants believed that insufficient resources limited teacher options for instructional strategies, and that mathematics professional development was needed. As a result, a 3- day professional development project was created to assist with the identified problem. This study has implications for positive social change because mathematics teachers will be provided support in practical implications for planning mathematics instruction, best practices and strategies for teaching mathematics, and technology application for teaching mathematics.