Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Elliott Ostler


The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the effectiveness of students' daily participation in a supplementary high school mathematics class, a Math Lab, as an intervention in mathematics. The study was conducted using three components that integrated Albert Bandura's social cognitive learning theory about the reciprocal causality of personal, environmental, and behavioral elements of the learning process. Math Lab students were given adapted portions of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, MSLQ, of Pintrich et al. (as cited in Opdecam, Everaert, VanKeer, & Buysschaert, 2013) and a researcher-created survey. The math portion of the Measures of Academic Progress assessment was used to collect achievement data. The Math Lab was most effective for one year in Algebra I. Poverty and the primary ethnicity of the student affect the learning process in this intervention. Resource management was the only MSLQ subscale linked significantly to academic achievement. Students that take more than one year of a Math Lab were less motivated and less confident in their ability to utilize learning strategies in mathematics. Results showed the following high-quality instructional practices were the most influential on academic progress in mathematics: the use of hands-on materials, vocabulary techniques, providing appropriate levels of challenge, providing cumulative reviews, and personalized practice. When deciding how to best group students in the Math Lab teachers should chose the students' partners for them, allow them to work alone, or create small groups of three to five students. Students should not be allowed to choose their own partners.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2016 Elizabeth M. Wessling.

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