Effective Programs in Middle and High School Mathematics: A Best-Evidence Synthesis
(Download Article, PDF: 749 KB)
In an effort to provide educators with information that they can use to select programs most likely to make a difference for their students’ achievement especially on standardized tests and in seeking to identify common characteristics of programs that have the potential to make a difference in student mathematics achievement, this article reviews research on mathematics programs for middle and high schools. Among other requirements, the 100 studies analyzed in this article used a randomized or matched control group, had duration of at least twelve weeks, and equality at pretest. The approaches to mathematics instruction analyzed in this study are grouped into three categories (a) Mathematics curricula, whose focus is mainly alternative textbooks, (b) Computer-assisted instruction, programs that incorporate technology to enhance mathematics achievement, and (c) Instructional process programs, programs relying largely on professional development aimed at giving teachers effective strategies for teaching mathematics. Examples of programs falling in the third category are programs focusing on cooperative learning, individualized instruction, mastery learning, and CSR, and programs focused on mathematics content. Calculated effect sizes increased in the following order of programs; mathematics curricula, computer-assisted instruction, and instructional process programs (especially cooperative learning) leading the authors to conclude that achievement measures are impacted more by programs that affect daily teaching practices and student interactions than programs emphasizing textbooks or technology alone, a conclusion in line with review of elementary programs.
Summary by: Michael Muzheve
Submitted on 2008-07-17