Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB), all schools are held accountable for student achievement. One southern US Title I school failed to meet NCLB mandated math standards for several years and was placed on program improvement. The purpose of this study was to compare math achievement of 34 students in fifth grade using differentiated instruction via Math out of the Box (MOOTB) and math achievement of 34 students in fifth grade using traditional textbook instruction. A second purpose was to determine if there was a difference between student attitudes toward math relative to confidence, value, enjoyment, and motivation. The theoretical base for this study is rooted in the works of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, Bruner's psychological theory, Piaget's concrete operational theory, and Tomlinson's differentiated instruction theory. In order to examine the differences in math achievement based on the two instructional approaches, a quasi-experimental nonequivalent (pretest-posttest) control group design was implemented with scores analyzed using the one-way analysis of covariance. The univariate analysis of variance was used to compare the differences between MOOTB and traditional fifth grade students' attitudes toward math relative to confidence, value, enjoyment, and motivation. The findings from the study showed improvements in both instructional groups on MAP posttest, but differences between the groups on math scores were not significant. The main effect for socioeconomic status was significant. A significant difference in students' attitudes toward math relative to enjoyment was noted. This study has the potential to provide school systems with alternative ways to increase student achievement which is an important implication for social change.