Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Robert Gliner

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


This is an exploratory study of how pedagogy in the form of math stories, shapes young learners’ perceptions, motivations, and sense-making of math concepts. The research is presented in an exploratory documentary, with audio-video data collected through the iPhone. The pilot test of story-driven math learning solutions was conducted by two teachers with eight first grade children from diverse backgrounds in an afterschool program. This study also includes interviews of the teachers, educational leaders and specialists in primary school curricula, children’s literature, and math education. The results of the pilot validated the efficacy of story-driven math learning solutions for mathematical sensemaking and reasoning. By helping the characters students were empowered as young mathematicians. They were motivated and engaged in mathematical modeling, for example, building equations deepened understanding from concrete problems to abstract concepts. The teachers observed the accelerated rate of students’ learning through stories, games, and multimodal activities shaped by a creative, socially interactive, and culturally responsive pedagogy not typically used in their math classes.