Author(s): Eija Väsänena (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Pirjo Auniob
Source: Journal of Early Childhood Education Research; Vol 3(2), p. 48-75.
Full text: PDF (in Finnish)
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a mathematical intervention program for low performing first graders. In the beginning of the first grade 21 low performing children were assigned to instruction (mathematically high risk children) and control groups (mathematically low risk children). Intensified instruction was given in small groups, in 45-min sessions once a week, during eight months. Children´s early numeracy skills (relational and counting skills) were measured before the instruction phase, at the end of the instruction phase and at the beginning of second grade (delayed posttest). The children were also tested in basic numerical and calculation skills at the end of the instruction phase and at the beginning of the second grade.
At the beginning of the intensified instruction phase the instruction group performed worse than the control group, especially in counting skills. The instruction group did significant development, especially in counting skills, and at the end of the intensified instruction phase there were no differences between instruction and control groups in basic numerical and calculation skills. After the instruction phase (from immediate posttest to delayed posttest) there were no statistically significant differences between the groups in the development of early numeracy. However, there were significant differences between children in the instruction group.
This study shows that intensified instruction did support at least some of the at-risk children´s mathematical development and was able to narrow the achievement gap to their classmates in mathematics.
Author-Supplied Keywords: first class, intensified instruction, low-achievement, mathematical skills
ISSN-L: 2323-7414 online
Author Affiliation: a, bUniversity of Helsinki, Finland