Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

David Kluth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Clayton Alford, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Debbie Smith, Ed.D.


Inquiry-based instruction has been pivotal in transforming classrooms into engaging student-centered learning environments. Utilizing inquiry-based instruction in mathematics in early childhood can help build a strong foundation in mathematics. This qualitative study examined the perceptions of teachers and administrators on inquiry-based instruction in early childhood mathematics. This study was guided by three research questions. This study took place at two public schools in NYC. Data was collected through a preinterview survey and interviews. The participants included nine teachers and three administrators. During the analysis process five themes were revealed: professional development, planning and preparation, student engagement, building foundational skills, and curriculum. Many participants felt strongly about the impact of inquiry-based instruction on student engagement and building foundational skills. Some of the participants revealed an increase in student achievement when inquiry-based instruction was implemented in math class. It was also revealed that professional development is vital for teachers to be successful in implementation of inquiry-based instruction. Working together teachers and administrators believe inquiry-based instruction can have a positive impact on students’ success in mathematics. Inquiry-based instruction in early childhood mathematics can have a positive impact on student engagement and student achievement.