The How, What, Why, and When of Teaching Mathematics in the K-12 Inclusive Classroom

The How, What, Why, and When of Teaching Mathematics in the K-12 Inclusive Classroom

Veena Paliwal, Angela C. Fain
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1431-3.ch001
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Research has shown that a better understanding of mathematics education in the K-12 classrooms with an emphasis on meeting the needs of students with mathematics difficulties in an inclusive setting is crucial. Unfortunately, there is limited literature available for teachers, parents, and educators to prepare them for teaching mathematics in an inclusion setting. This chapter provides an in-depth discussion on how students' understanding and mathematical thinking, reasoning, and sense directly correlate to achievement in mathematics courses, higher-level academic courses, and in-career opportunities. This chapter provides researchers, scholars, educators, parents, and students an invaluable resource and deeper insight for understanding how effective mathematics instruction can benefit all students in an inclusive classroom.
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The National Center for Educational Statistics (2019) reports 63% of all students with a disability attend regular school, time inside general class 80% or more. An estimated 3 to 7% of students with mathematics disability (MD) demonstrate deficits in working memory, visuospatial processing, and basic fact retrieval associated with long term memory (DSM-5, 2013). While these students have documented disabilities, it is estimated that nearly 50% of students experience some difficulty in mathematics (Badian, 1983; Geary, 2003; Kosc, 1974; Rivera, 1997; Siegler, 2007). Students who demonstrate difficulty in mathematics may or may not have been diagnosed with another disability (i.e. emotional and behavioral disorder, mild intellectual disability). Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics assessment show only 40% of U.S. students without disabilities in 4th grade demonstrated proficiency in mathematics and only 34% of the students demonstrated proficiency on the 8th grade assessment (NAEP, 2017). In addition, data indicate that students with disabilities continue to perform at lower levels of achievement compared to their nondisabled peers year after year with little improvement. Math learning disability have been identified as dyscalculia—a learning disability that makes it challenging to learn and process math (see Table 1 for more information on dyscalculia)

Table 1.
Dyscalculia at a glance
Comorbidity with ADHD· An estimated 20-60% of children with ADHD also have one or more learning disabilities or language problems.
Suggestive Symptoms· Slow to develop counting and math problem-solving skills· Trouble understanding positive versus negative value· Difficult recalling number sequences· Difficulty computing problems· Problems with time concepts· Poor sense of direction· Difficulty completing mental math
Professional to SeeEvaluation should be conducted by a school psychologist or special education professional. School supports may be provided by special education professionals and/or your child’s classroom teacher.
Treatments & Medications· There is no medication to treat learning disabilities· Your child may qualify for an IEP to receive special-education services including math supports
Recommended Resources· · · · · by Daniel Ansari, Ph.D.

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