Date of Award

Fall 2018

Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Program

Secondary Education – Grades 6-12


Cynthia Ybos


Public education is a continually evolving field, with new research, policies, and practices explored by professionals who are driven to provide America’s youth with high-quality education. Research literature since 2000 has highlighted the importance of disciplinary literacy and its unfortunate neglect in a majority of secondary classrooms (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). Students who are literate in a particular discipline, such as math, view themselves as fluent in the language of mathematics, comfortable with reading, discussing, and practicing complex mathematical concepts while using appropriate vocabulary (Buehl, 2017). As seasoned professionals and novice educators consider the role of disciplinary literacy in their own classrooms, it is necessary to ponder the practices that are implemented within classrooms. Do they align with current research on the matter? What role do motivation and culture play in the process of becoming mathematically literate? How do these ideas influence classroom literacy practices? These are the central questions that have guided the construction of this research study, which will seek to examine the phenomena that occur within a classroom as teachers implement practices which promote and teach mathematical literacy. The exploratory nature of this study dictates that no judgement on the effectiveness of observed and discussed instructional strategies is considered, rather, a comparison of the latter with those strategies recommended by current educational researchers and literature. Interviews and classroom observations will work in tandem with a review of the current publications that address the areas of motivation, mathematical literacy, and culture.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this honors thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the honors thesis.