Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Charlene Desir

Committee Member

Roxanne Molina

Abstract

Over 50% of secondary students failed the geometry end-of-course test in a Florida school district, indicating a need to improve academic performance. Secondary school students’ learning characteristics and the effectiveness of teachers’ instructional strategies are imperative to educational success. In this qualitative case study, geometry teachers’ instructional strategies, as defined by the Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model, were explored once teachers were informed of students’ multiple intelligences and trained in multiple-intelligence-based lessons. Participants were 2 geometry teachers and 15 secondary geometry students in a traditional public school. Using Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory and the van Hiele model of learning geometry, the researcher analyzed interviews, observations, and teachers’ lesson plans to shed light on teachers’ use of multiple intelligence data and training. Significant conclusions emerged from the findings of the case study. First, teachers’ dominant intelligences shape the use of instructional strategies. Second, multiple intelligences were used to personalize instruction, create a student-centered classroom environment, and nurture student engagement among secondary geometry learners. Lastly, when instructors taught based on students’ van Hiele levels, 5 of 8 intelligences are excluded. Teachers used strategies steeped in spatial, logical, and linguistic intelligences to teach students how to draw, think, and write. Strategies for students with interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical, naturalist, and kinesthetic intelligences were excluded. Based on the conclusions of the study, educators have new information on ways to make geometry instruction more inclusive for their diverse learning population. Education stakeholders are also enlightened with what may be missing in geometry classrooms and impeding student success.

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