Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Daniel J. Mundfrom

Department Affiliation

Mathematics and Statistics


This study explores the use of manipulatives in high school Algebra II. The effectiveness of the Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) Model is compared to explicit instruction. The participants in this study are students from six high school Algebra II classes -two honors classes, and four standard classes. One honors class and two standard classes were randomly selected as the treatment groups receiving CRA instruction. The other three classes learned through abstract explicit instruction. Each class learned two new mathematical concepts, domain and range of quadratic functions and transformations of quadratic functions, through the selected method of instruction. At the end of instruction, student comprehension, accuracy, and retention of the mathematical content were analyzed through the use of pre-, post-, and follow-up tests. The results of the treatment and non-treatment groups will be used to determine if the use of manipulatives is beneficial for higher level high school algebra classes.