School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Michelle B. Goodwin

Primary Subject Area

Education, Elementary; Education, General; Education, Mathematics


Departmentalized, Fifth Grade, Mathematics, Organizational Structure, Teacher Opinions, Traditional


Science and Mathematics Education


This study examined the effect of traditional (self-contained, one teacher for all academic subjects) and departmentalized (math taught by a different teacher) instruction upon the mathematics CRCT achievement of fifth-grade general education students. A secondary purpose addressed teachers' experiences, perceptions, and opinions concerning the classroom structure at this level. The 2007 and 2008 CRCT math data was used with a total of 9,386 students. The researcher's Data Collection and Opinions (DCO) for Teachers surveyed 180 fifth-grade teachers. A z score population proportion and a two-sample t test determined significant differences between the two structures. Results of the passing percentages showed a significant difference in favor of the departmentalized setting in 2007. DCO findings found departmentalized options as teachers' preferred choice of structure for fifth-grade students with a continued need to include teachers in decision-making. Additional results with implications for administrators concerning the organizational structure decision for upper elementary levels are provided. Recommendations for further research studies are also included.