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ERIC Number: ED562173
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 16
Fadeout in an Early Mathematics Intervention: Same Old Schools or Underlying Skills?
Bailey, Drew H.; Nguyen, Tutrang; Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Domina, Thurston; Clements, Douglas H.; Sarama, Julie; Wolfe, Christopher B.; Spitler, Mary Elaine
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
A consistent finding across early childhood interventions targeting mathematics and other achievement-related skills that is that initial treatment effects fade over time, with children not receiving the intervention catching up to children who did (Clements et al., 2013; Leak et al., 2010; Puma et al., 2010). One popular explanation for this is that, owing to their own preparation or a desire to ensure that all children receive basic skills training, elementary school teachers do not teach the kind of advanced content that children are prepared for after receiving an effective early mathematics intervention (Bodovski & Farkas, 2007; Crosnoe et al., 2010; Engel, Claessens, & Finch, 2014). Thus, children who benefit from early mathematics interventions may experience flatter achievement trajectories in subsequent years. In contrast, the lower achieving children who did not receive the intervention may benefit more from the basic level of instruction and catch up to their higher achieving peers. This is hypothesis is referred to for fadeout of treatment effects in early mathematics interventions as the "same old schools" hypothesis. An alternative hypothesis is short-run differences in mathematics achievement induced by interventions are soon overtaken by differences produced by relatively stable factors influencing children's long-term mathematical development. These factors likely include a combination of domain general cognitive abilities, relatively stable academic skills, motivation, and other factors that affect children's mathematics achievement across time. If this is true, then children's higher mathematics achievement at the end of an effective early mathematics intervention might subsequently migrate to levels that would be predicted based on their underlying skills alone. This hypothesis is referred to for fadeout of treatment effects in early mathematics interventions as the "underlying skills" hypothesis. This study tested the same old schools and underlying skills hypotheses using data from an effective early mathematics intervention. Specifically, the authors identified a subset of children in the control group with similar post-intervention achievement scores to children in the treatment group, and then tested whether their subsequent learning trajectories differed. At the intervention's conclusion, children were assessed immediately thereafter and then one year later in the kindergarten year. The following are appended: (1) References; and (2) Tables and Figures.
Descriptors: Early Intervention, Early Childhood Education, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Skills, School Readiness, Mathematics Achievement, Control Groups, Experimental Groups, Hypothesis Testing, Kindergarten, At Risk Students, Low Income Groups
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)