Date of Award



© 2017 Peter Danquah

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Michelle Collay


The purpose of this qualitative research study is to describe which methods and strategies can help to improve students’ achievement in mathematics in under resourced urban middle schools. The significance of this study is to develop math instructional skills in urban schools that can help bridge the achievement gap between urban underperforming schools and suburban achieving schools. Urban mathematics educators are content-ready and state-certified, but they lack certain key techniques and strategies that will help teachers succeed and students learn effectively and efficiently. Two questions were answered in this survey: in answer to the first question, the educators characterized conceptual and procedural math teaching methods, while in answer to the second question, the instructors answered questions on teaching strategies and pedagogies that help improve the quality of math instruction at the middle school level. Twelve math educators were asked eleven, semi structured, face-to-face questions. The conceptual framework supporting this research includes professional development schools, project-based learning, and transformational leadership. The conclusions that were drawn after the study can be categorized into three parts: First, the educators who were surveyed believe that conceptual learning is characterized as teaching students to apply the math concepts and theories that they have learned. Secondly, procedural learning is associated with the memorization of math facts and formulas. Lastly, certain practices ensure quality math instruction, including positive behavior intervention support, professional development, professional learning communities, response to intervention, teacher professional development schools, using curriculum maps and pacing guides, the use of technology in the classroom and using project-based learning methods.


Ed.D. Dissertation