Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Winter 2012


Stone, J., & Hamann, E.T. (2012) Improving Elementary American Indian Students’ Math Achievement with Inquiry-Based Mathematics and Games. Journal of American Indian Education 51(1): 45-66.


Copyright © 2012 by Arizona Board of Regents.


Project Inquiry-Based Mathematics was a National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership implemented in a Great Plains city school district with a significant K-12 Native American population. One goal of the project was to reduce the achievement gap between Native American and non-Native students enrolled in the district. This gap reduction was to be achieved using inquiry-based mathematics curricula along with cognitively guided instructional strategies, particularly at the elementary level. This study focuses on whether inquiry-based mathematics strategies were consistently implemented in three fifth-grade classrooms at K-5 elementary schools with significant Native American student populations. Test result of Native American students at these three schools are compared with the test results of Native American fifth-grade students at a fourth school considered by district leadership to be an exemplar of inquiry-based math instruction. Possible reasons for the performance disparity are explored.