Date of Award

Summer 7-28-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Kimberly Gardner

First Committee Member

Dr. Tak Cheung Chan

Second Committee Member

Dr. Desha Williams


The purpose of this embedded quasi-experimental mixed methods research was to investigate the effectiveness of concrete and virtual manipulatives on the achievement of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as they employ them to explore linear and exponential functions in high school Sheltered Common Core Coordinate Algebra. Also of interest were the effects concrete and virtual manipulatives have on their disposition towards mathematics and math class. Another goal was to investigate the benefits and disadvantages of using concrete and virtual manipulatives versus traditional instructional practices.

This was a 5-week study. The control group (N=20) was instructed through the use of mathematics textbooks and Power Points (traditional) and compared to the treatment group (N=19), which was instructed using concrete and virtual manipulatives. One ESOL mathematics teacher implemented this study, teaching both groups by utilizing the sheltered instruction observation protocol (SIOP) (2012) model to integrate content and language.

Qualitative research methods, teacher interviews, recorded field notes, students’ work samples and artifacts were utilized. Quantitative data analysis techniques were used to analyze departmentalized Linear and Exponential Functions Summative Assessments (pretest and posttest) to measure mathematics achievement. The one-way ANOVA uncovered no statistically significant difference between the control group and treatment group as they explored linear and exponential functions. The Quantitative Understanding: Amplifying Student Achievement and Reasoning Students Disposition instrument (pre-questionnaire and post- questionnaire) measured dispositions about mathematics and math class. The one-way ANOVA indicated no statistically significant difference between the control and the treatment group’s dispositions about mathematics and math class.