Cross case analysis of three middle school mathematics teachers



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This cross-case analysis was designed to investigate the instructional practices middle school mathematics teachers use in classes with English language learners (ELLs); how the different practices result in differential student achievement; the types of professional development middle school mathematics teachers attend; and what effect the mathematics teachers’ academic background have on the academic achievement of ELLs. The study was facilitated by the use of data from lesson plans, observations, interviews, academic background, and professional development sessions for three seventh-grade mathematics teachers and their students’ proficiency on the seventh-grade mathematics state achievement. Investigation of the lesson plans, observations and classroom culture led to three conclusions on the importance of creating appropriate lesson plans, implementing those lesson plans and creating respectful yet challenging learning environments to foster the learning of diverse students. Examination of the mathematics teachers’ academic background and professional development established a positive relationship between academic background and professional sessions attended and student-achievement outcomes. The relationships were significant predictors of achievement in mathematics. Results indicate that mathematics teachers of second language learners should learn and implement teaching and learning strategies that support literacy development and enhance the understanding of mathematics. Keywords: English language learners, middle school mathematics, secondary mathematics classrooms, literacy and mathematics, disciplinary literacy
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