Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Connor

Second Advisor

Vicki L Olson


This action research case study examines how five academically at risk students manage math anxiety and other problems in the classroom. These five participants are from a suburban high school in Minnesota. These students were recruited from remedial math classes. Three students had the educational label of Specific Learning Disability (SLD), and two students were academically at risk and were English Language Learners (ELL). This action study is based on qualitative data collection (field notes, participant observer comments, student journals, student interviews and, participant observations) and data analysis to understand these issues from a student perspective. Four themes emerged from the data: Making sense of and being patient in order to learn math, committing to classroom engagement and learning, cognitive and psychological factors which can impair learning, and embracing routine math and avoiding learning challenges. The conclusions and recommendations are based on the importance of early intervention to help students who are failing to learn math.


SC 11.MAE.2012.Hoyt.LK