Research Should Focus on Improving Mathematics Proficiency for Students With Disabilities

Document Type


Publication Date



Students with disabilities experience differential levels of achievement in mathematics when compared with their nondisabled peers. Identifying and implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) is essential to increase their mathematics achievement. However, an argument is re-emerging that calls into question the effectiveness of well-known EBPs, such as explicit/direct instruction. However, the argument is based on opinion and conjecture, rather than student outcome measures. In this commentary, we use research on explicit and direct instruction with mathematics to (a) highlight the confusion over theoretical implications, (b) call for researchers to reduce personal bias within research, and (c) emphasize the need for improving outcomes of students with disabilities affecting mathematics learning.