Date of Award

Fall 11-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Mollie Bolton


The purpose of this study was to determine the student outcomes of implementing schema-based instruction on students in grades 3-8 identified with an educational disability and ascertain how students’ developed mathematical problem solving skills. After special education teachers in a metropolitan school district in the Midwest administered a pre-assessment, the researcher used the results to select 21 students with an educational disability to participate in the mixed-methods study. Special education teachers implemented Asha K. Jitendra’s (2007) educational program titled, Solving Math Word Problems: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Using Schema-Based Instruction, during the 2013-2014 school year and taught participants using these techniques. The researcher measured student achievement by using both a pre and post assessment and M-CAP benchmark scores on mathematical problem solving. In addition, the researcher gathered perceptions of schema-based instruction via surveys and interviews with special education teachers, general education teachers, and student participants. The analysis of quantitative data from the pre and post-assessments of students participating in the schema-based program as well as the analysis of qualitative data from student participant surveys supported a positive outcome on the use of schema based instruction with students with an educational disability; the findings of this study reinforced the then-current literature. However, the student participants’’ M-CAP assessment data did not demonstrate the same amount of growth as the assessment data from the schema-based program. In addition, the analysis of survey and interview data iii from the two teacher groups also displayed discrepancies between special education teachers’ and general education teachers’ overall perceptions of the schema-based instructional program. Despite this, the preponderance of evidence demonstrated most students who participated in the study did learn as a result of the schema-based instruction and developed mathematical problem-solving skills. Therefore, the findings of this study corroborated the then-current literature and supported the continual use of the researched program; Solving Math Word Problems: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Using Schema-Based Instruction, by Jitendra (2007). The researcher concluded this program a valid research-based intervention to increase mathematical problem solving skills for students with an educational disability.


Copyright 2016