Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Louann Bierlein-Palmer

Second Advisor

Dr. Ok-Kyeong Kim


Research has shown that including prediction questions within reading and science instruction has been advantageous for students, yet minimal research existed regarding the use of such questions within mathematics instruction. In order to extend and build on our knowledge about the effects of prediction in mathematics instruction, this study explored the impact of this paradigm in the teaching and learning of algebra. Specifically, this study probed whether utilizing prediction questions provided students opportunities for engaging in mathematical thinking, retrieving prior knowledge, and discussing related mathematical ideas, could increase such students' conceptual understanding and mathematical reasoning in the content area of algebra. To address the research questions, a longitudinal quasi-experimental study was conducted to explore to what extent and in what ways prediction questions could help students develop mathematical reasoning and conceptual understanding. In this research, instruction and learning for two groups of students were examined whereby prediction questions were infused within the treatment class, while the control group received instruction devoid of such prediction questions. Both groups were taught by the same teacher and curriculum, with no initial significant differences between these two groups. During the course of one school year within this treatment group, the teacher employed prediction questions at the launch of each lesson and then revisited the student predictions at the closure of the lesson. A total of 1,178 unit assessment responses and 494 responses to Mathematical Reflections were examined, along with videotaped sessions from both classes to explore out-come based differences between the two groups. In addition, 491 prediction responses from the treatment class were coded for levels of reasoning and characteristics of prediction responses. The overall results suggest prediction is a relevant and valid construct with respect to enhanced conceptual understanding and mathematical reasoning. The treatment class outperformed the control class on a number of measures. The benefits from a teacher's perspective were also identified. Prediction questions became a catalyst for classroom discussions, increased student engagement, and an informal assessment tool for the teacher. Through this study, benefits for instruction, professional development, and curriculum design in relation to prediction became apparent.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Mathematics Commons