Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

How Socioeconomic Status Effects Instruction in Middle School Classrooms
Dr. Kristen Jones, EdD; Dr. Michelle McCraney, EdD; Dr. Sunddip Panesar Aguilar

In suburban school district, the gap in mathematics performance between students considered economically disadvantaged and economically no disadvantaged was slowly widening as evidenced by state test scores. The purpose and research questions of this instrumental case study were designed to: (a) identify what Grades 6, 7 and 8 mathematics teachers perceive the role socioeconomic status plays in ability to learn mathematics and to (b) understand what teachers believe affects their perceptions of students’ ability to learn mathematics. Participants were middle school mathematics teachers from a small, diverse, suburban school district. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews; and publicly available aggregated demographic data. Identified themes were used to understand how teacher perceptions affect mathematics instruction and student success. The results indicated that a position paper outlining a course of action intended to increase teachers’ understanding of the needs of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, be created and presented to the district leadership.

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