Date

10-2015

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Jerry L. Woodbridge-Cornell

Keywords

differentiated instruction, differentiation, gifted mathematics, Math in Focus

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

his phenomenological study investigated the differentiation techniques implemented for gifted and high ability learners by fifth grade general classroom mathematics instructors utilizing the Math in Focus (Great Source/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009) Singapore Mathematics program in a suburban school district. To provide an understanding of the differentiation process currently being implemented by general classroom mathematics teachers, six participants completed an open-ended questionnaire and two representative participants were interviewed, observed, and asked to provide artifacts for analysis in the study. Data analysis using transcendental phenomenological reduction, including bracketing and horizonalization, revealed several overarching lessons. Participants analyzed multiple student data sources throughout the planning and implementation stages of providing differentiated instruction to identify students’ levels of readiness and appropriate task complexity. Flexible small groups were utilized to meet individual student needs through content differentiation. Diversity in enrichment and assessment resources, as well as targeted professional development and planning time were identified as necessary to improve the process of providing differentiated instruction.