Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Donna Gilles

Second Advisor

Colleen Thoma

Third Advisor

Beth Bader

Fourth Advisor

Kurt Stemhagen


Teaching students with Intellectual Disability (ID) is a relatively new endeavor. Beginning in 2001 with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, the general education curriculum integrated algebra across the K-12 curriculum (Kendall, 2011; National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010), and expansion of the curriculum included five intertwined skills (productive disposition, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and conceptual understanding) (Kilpatrick, Swafford, & Findell, 2001). Researchers are just beginning to explore the potential of students with ID with algebra (Browder, Spooner, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Harris & Wakeman, 2008; Creech-Galloway, Collins, Knight, & Bausch, 2013; Courtade, Spooner, Browder, & Jimenez, 2012; Göransson, Hellblom-Thibblin, & Axdorph, 2016). Most of the research examines the development of procedural fluency (Göransson et al., 2016) and few researchers have explored high school level skills. Using a single-case multiple-baseline across participants design, the study proposes to teach two algebra skills to six high school students with ID, creating an equation (y=mx+b) from a graph of a line and creating a graph from an equation. The six high school students with ID will be recruited from a school district in central Virginia. The intervention package modeled after Jimenez, Browder, and Courtade (2008), included modeling, templates, time delay prompting, and a task analysis. Results showed that all six individuals improved performance during intervention for the target skills over baseline; results also indicated that in three out of the six cases some generalization to the inverse skill occurred without supplemental intervention. The ability of individuals with ID to generalize the learning without intervention provides some evidence that individuals with ID are developing conceptual understanding while learning procedural fluency.


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