Date of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in Mathematics



Committee Chair

Kurt Killion


Common Core mathematical practices, effective teaching practices, mathematics questioning, tutoring, secondary mathematics education

Subject Categories

Higher Education and Teaching | Science and Mathematics Education | Secondary Education and Teaching


One of the eight Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is the posing of purposeful questions. Many studies have been conducted that support the need, importance, and effectiveness of purposeful questioning in conceptual mathematics teaching. The purpose of this action research study was to gain insight into the successes and challenges of a tutor when implementing purposeful questions in a mathematics tutoring setting. The experiences of the tutor were analyzed through the collection of qualitative data using video and audio recordings, journal entries of the tutor, and an observational protocol. Data analysis revealed three successes associated with purposeful questioning: a) encouraged the standards of mathematical practice b) enhanced students’ cognitive mathematical engagement and c) promoted personal and professional growth for the tutor. Data analysis also revealed three challenges to asking purposeful questions: a) nature of the homework problems b) students’ lack of conceptual mathematical experience and c) lack of mathematical confidence by both the tutor and the student. The findings of this study can be used to encourage and improve the questioning by current and future mathematics educators and tutors.


© Sara Elaine Jones

Open Access