Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Shuff, Margaret

Committee Member 1

Kuder, Sydney J.

Committee Member 2

Accardo, Amy


Differentiated Instruction, Mathematics, Algebra II, Secondary Education, Tiered Lessons


Learning disabled teenagers--Education; Algebra--Study and teaching


Science and Mathematics Education | Special Education and Teaching


This study examined the effects of differentiating instructing through tiered lessons to see if it would improve students' success in high school special education classes. The study was done in two Algebra II secondary special education classrooms including 17 students in total. There were 5 females and 12 males, all students were juniors in high school and aged 16 or 17 years old. All of the students were classified as either specific learning disabilities, other health impaired, or multiple disabilities including anxiety and depression. The students were enrolled in resources classes for all of their major academic subjects and inclusive classes for electives. Three of the students were in some inclusion classes for academic subjects and two students attended technical school in the afternoon for mechanics and culinary.

The classes were taught by two different teachers, each having the same amount of experiences, about 7.5 years. Both teachers are certified mathematics teachers. The study took place in two Algebra II secondary special education classrooms. Each class is taught by a different teacher, both teachers have 7.5 years of experience and are highly qualified in mathematics. Each classroom also has a teacher's aide. Each teacher's aide holds a bachelor's degree but neither is certified in teaching. The aides have been working in the district for 10 and 6 years and have 2 and 6 years of experience in the math classroom, respectively.