Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Susan Miller

Number of Pages



Researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of using direct instruction, learning strategy instruction and the concrete-representational-abstract teaching sequence for teaching a variety of basic math skills, but little research has been conducted related to their effectiveness for teaching more complex skills such as algebra. This study investigated the effects of teaching secondary school students with and without mild disabilities a strategy for solving algebra equations and word problems using the concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) teaching sequence. There were 169 secondary students who participated in this study. Of the 169 participants, 79 were male and 90 were female, they ranged in age from 11 to 19, and 61 had mild disabilities (i.e., learning disabilities and emotional disturbances). Students in the treatment group participated in 11 algebra lessons using the CRA teaching sequence. Students in the control group participated in 11 algebra lessons using traditional textbook-based instruction. Both groups of students received the same practice problems during their respective lessons. Student scores were compared across Teacher-Made Pretests, Posttests, and Maintenance tests. All students increased their ability to solve the algebra problems. The CPA approach and the traditional teaching method were equally effective. The results from, this research show that both general education and special education students can learn to solve algebra problems.


Abstract; Algebra; Concrete; Concrete-representational-abstract; Increase; Problems; Problem-solving; Representational; Secondary School Students; Sequence; Skills; Solving; Teaching

Controlled Subject

Special education; Mathematics--Study and teaching; Education, Secondary

File Format


File Size

3962.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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