Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Elkordy

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Minor

Third Advisor

Dean's Representative Christine Nelson


Currently offered at over 450 high schools in the United States, Geometry in Construction is an interdisciplinary course that provides students with the opportunity to learn Geometry content through the process of constructing a single-family home. Highly functioning cooperative groups are a critical element of the Geometry in Construction program. Cooperative learning is an effective instructional strategy that increases student achievement (Slavin, 2011) and also provides opportunities for students to develop collaboration and teamwork skills. Collaboration and teamwork are critical 21st century skills that are highly valued by employers and therefore worthy of consideration as foundational skills to be taught and assessed in US schools. This program evaluation explores the use of cooperative learning in Geometry classrooms, including Geometry in Construction, and its relationship to students’ development of the 21st century skill of collaboration. This study involved observations in Geometry classes to document the use of the instructional strategy of cooperative learning as well as a review of data collected via a retrospective pretest of Geometry students’ attitudes toward math and perceptions of their 21st century skills. While the classroom observations did not reveal significant differences in the quantity or quality of small group work in Geometry in Construction versus other Geometry classes, the data collected via the observation process can lead to thoughtful discussion and planning to increase the use of cooperative learning strategies. The results of the retrospective pretest showed a higher percentage of all students in Geometry (Geometry in Construction and in all other Geometry classes combined) indicating that they believed statements related to teamwork and collaboration were often or almost always true for them at the end of the school year than what they believed to be true for themselves before they took their current Geometry class. However, the researcher was encouraged that for the majority of the statements related to teamwork and collaboration, the increase from pre to post was higher for Geometry in Construction students.