Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research & Counseling

Document Type



Preparing secondary students for college entrance requirements and the expectations of the job market, a market which is actively seeking the employees who are most qualified to take on jobs that require data analysis skills, is becoming increasingly important. Federal, state, and local education administrators and personnel must rewrite many of the general education curricula to incorporate data organization, collection, manipulation, application, and analysis in order to better prepare students for the expectations of college entrance and an ever-changing employment market. From a purely pedagogical standpoint, while traditional educational structure has been commonplace for decades in the United States, projects used as assessment tools are a more progressive way to gauge content understanding and course achievement, especially in mathematics. Algebra I and Geometry students at a lone high school were randomly assigned to participating teachers’ classes that were assigned to one of two main treatment groups, one that used projects, the other traditional instruments, as formative assessments, in order to gauge two main goals - the growth in achievement before and after a curricular unit involving statistics and the change in attitudes towards statistics before and after the statistics unit. Using several parametric (paired t testing and MANOVA) and an additional non-parametric statistical analyses on a variety of demographic and class variables and coupled with an interview of participating teachers, the results revealed that projects, from the perspective of both participating students and teachers, often are much more effective in increasing achievement and attitudes towards the science of statistics, especially in the secondary educational years. The results of this study would be useful in rewriting mathematics curriculum to incorporate more focused attention to the science of statistics.



Committee Chair

Kennedy, Eugene