Author(s)

Kenneth Londregan

Date Approved

5-6-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Campbell, Robert

Subject(s)

Low-income students--Services for;Mathematics--Study and teaching

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

The purpose of this action research study was to evaluate if participation in an after school mathematics enrichment program has an impact on student outcomes, including the students' perception that the after school program helped prepare them for their regular school day's mathematics class, score better on benchmark assessments, and succeed on their New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) state test. One hundred and twenty five students who received free or reduced lunch were asked to participate in a free extended school program. Thirty students who did not receive free or reduced lunches were also invited to participate in this extended school day opportunity. The program ran 4 days a week, 1 hour a day, from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. for a total of 11 weeks. This program concentrated on mathematics and problem solving skills. Cooperative learning activities, project based learning, solving real-life problems, and technology integration were utilized to help challenge the participants and keep them interested. A benchmark assessment was given to the after school program participants and the control group before the after school program began, and 11 weeks later at the end of the after school program. On the last day of the program, the participants were given a survey to determine if they found any value in participation in the program. The research participants' NJ ASK scores were collected before and after the implementation of the after school program. The results suggest that students perceive a benefit from participation in the after school program. The program was indeed effective in improving benchmark test scores (this result was observed for the whole sample and individually for each grade and socioeconomic level, except for Grade 8 students). However, participation in the program was not associated with significant improvements in NJ ASK scores. The difference between the program and control groups in terms of NJ ASK scores was significant only for the subsample of Grade 6 students.

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