Date of Award

Spring 3-19-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Phillip Pendley

Second Advisor

Jonathon Greenberg

Third Advisor

Melissa Bazanos


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the activities expert mathematics teachers in comprehensive high schools that employ Professional Learning Communities and structured academic intervention use with respect to school culture, classroom culture, interventions, differentiated instruction, and first best instruction to make every student in their classroom more successful in mathematics at the end of their term regardless of where the student began.

Methodology: The researcher identified comprehensive public high schools within the state of California. Of this target population, purposeful sampling was applied to identify participants that were rich with information and that met specific criteria and 12 high school expert mathematics teachers were identified. The researcher collected and coded data from in depth interviews; interview protocol directly correlated with the research questions of this study. A variety of related artifacts were additionally gathered and analyzed for the generated codes to triangulate the interview data.

Findings: Examination of qualitative data from the 12 comprehensive high school mathematics teachers were organized by research sub questions, identifying the impact of the five variable recognized in the study: (a) school culture, (b) classroom culture, (c) intervention, (d) differentiation, and (e) first best instruction has on student learning and teaching practices.

Conclusions: The study supported the conclusions that school culture is a major factor in a school's ability to have an impact on teaching practices and student learning. Furthermore, the findings from this study lead to the conclusion that classroom culture or the role of the teacher in the classroom is paramount to the ability of students accessing the curriculum. Additionally, the findings from this study lead to the conclusion that having planned and structured intervention embedded into the regular school day is vital for student success. Finally, the findings from this study lead to the conclusion that teachers must be trained in methods that are effective in intervention and can be differentiated from the original lesson

Recommendations: Six areas of further research were recommended to increase the body of literature related to these variables.