Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 12-31-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Tony Bright

Committee Member

Kathy A. Thomas

Committee Member

Lynne Schrum

Abstract

Students with learning disabilities are placed in general education classrooms in increasing numbers. Many of these students receive additional services in Resource Room programs taught by a special education teacher. The intent of this study was to determine if students with disabilities, who were struggling in mathematics, increased achievement utilizing Resource Room instruction as an intervention. Students in the study were in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades and performed at least one grade level below expectations for that grade in mathematics. All of the students had a specific learning disability. This study investigated the correlation, if any, between the amounts of time spent in the Resource Room and the number of students concurrently in the Resource Room with an increase in mathematics achievement. The achievement gap for students with disabilities remains steady and continues to foster much debate in the education community. Most of the research into this achievement gap has been directed at students with difficulties in reading; less interest has been shown into research for students with difficulties in mathematics. Mathematics is an important part of daily life, and the basic logic inherent in mathematics crosses over into other academic areas. Various interventions are used in elementary schools to assist students with learning disabilities who struggle in mathematics. However, the interventions have not been sufficiently studied to determine the effectiveness on achievement. This study serves as a catalyst for the study of Resource Room instruction as an intervention for students with disabilities and examines the resulting mathematics achievement.

Comments

Since the introduction of IDEIA, many Supreme Courts have interpreted "to the maximum extent possible" to mean that all students should be in regular classes along with their same age/grade peers. This was a major forward step for inclusion. However, they missed the part that said "with appropriate supports and services". Many school districts have been placing students with disabilities in regular classrooms with no support whatsoever, assuming the general education teacher is equipped to teach all students. This has had a catastrophic effect on the education of our children, both with and without disabilities, and it needs to be changed now.

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