Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Yasha Becton


Mathematics is an important component of our everyday lives. It involves necessary skills, such as computation, problem solving, and critical thinking. In spite of this, a significant portion of our students are unable to demonstrate proficiency. These students are typically the underserved, marginalized students who are over represented in remedial classes and behavioral statistics (Gibson, 2022; Harper, 2010, 2021; Zilanawala, et al., 2018). This research study presented two instructional interventions, culturally relevant pedagogy and problem-based learning, to examine the impact of self-efficacy, critical thinking, and mathematical achievement. This study utilized a mixed-methods triangulation design. The participants of this study were 36 third-grade students, who were assigned to this researcher’s homeroom and targets math classes. Data collection instruments included pre- and post- student surveys, behavioral checklists, and semi-structured student interviews. Results of this study indicated that culturally relevant pedagogy and problem-based learning had a statistically significant impact on student attitudes, critical thinking skills, and mathematical achievement.


© 2023, Kelley P. Spahr