Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Linda Silvernail


This paper addresses the problem of students not using problem solving and critical thinking skills in high school mathematics classes. It describes an action research project that looked at the impact of Math Workshop on higher-level thinking skills, number of attempts to demonstrate proficiency, and students’ feelings/attitudes about mathematics in a high school Algebra II setting. In a small high school, 20 students enrolled in an Algebra II course were selected to complete a pre-test, post-test and tasks framed by Math Workshop. A triangulated mixed-methods design was used to compare quantitative and qualitative data to answer the research questions. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data, while coding was used to organize and analyze the qualitative data. The two sets of data were interpreted together to find the results of this study. Math Workshop increased the use of problem solving and critical thinking skills, reduced the number of attempts to demonstrate proficiency, and had a positive impact on students’ feelings/attitudes about mathematics. These results supported research on constructivism, Math Workshop, and the use of 21st century skills. Implications for this study are the introduction of the Math Workshop framework within the school, and eventually the District where this study took place. A larger study needs to be conducted with different populations and settings in order to confirm the results.