Leadership Practices to Support Teaching Mathematical Word Problems to Students With Disabilities

Dionne Olivene Williams, Fordham University


Students with disabilities often encounter challenges when solving mathematical word problems. This case study used an Improvement Science approach in a 15-week Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle where leadership approaches and collaborative structures were utilized to support teachers as they implemented problem-solving and goal-setting strategy to help students with disabilities solve mathematical word problems. A two-part theory of action was used in the study. First, if teachers implement effective reading, writing, and problem-solving strategies in the classroom, there will be an increase in the number of students with disabilities solving word problems completely and accurately. Second, if the administration supports and develops teachers in using reading, writing, explicit teaching of math vocabulary, problem-solving, and goal-setting strategies, then teachers will begin implementing problem-solving and goal-setting strategy consistently in the classroom. The outcome was positive as there was evidence of increased collaboration between teachers and administrators. Teachers’ practices improved and students with disabilities implemented the problem-solving and goal-setting strategy to improve their accuracy and completion rates in solving mathematical word problems.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Mathematics education|Special education|Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Williams, Dionne Olivene, "Leadership Practices to Support Teaching Mathematical Word Problems to Students With Disabilities" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30572239.