Lydia McEvoy

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lin Lin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jacob Hall, Ph.D.


Utilizing a mixed method approach this research study investigated the effects of small group instruction on the learning of diverse learners. Informed by a preliminary literature review that supports the use of small-group instruction, the researcher conducted a small-scale action research project to focus on three diverse learners in a 1st-grade classroom over four weeks. One of the findings of this project shows that small group instruction helps promote social and emotional skills as students feel more comfortable interacting with peers in a small group rather than in a whole group. Another finding indicates that students feel more encouraged by the instructor and their peers in a small group setting to try problem-solving math problems. The study concludes that small-group instruction facilitates learning for diverse learners, who benefit from learning from peers and trying challenging math tasks. The research presentation provides insight to teachers on how to select for small groups, implement interventions and utilize small groups to build strong social interactions.