Monday, September 30, 2013

Instructional Practices and Student Math Achievement

This evaluation brief
is directed to researchers and adds to the research base about instructional practices that are related to student achievement. Additional evidence on these relationships can suggest specific hypotheses for future study of instruction practices, which, in turn, will provide research evidence that could inform professional development of teachers and the writing of instructional materials.

The results of this study reveal a pattern of relationships in first and second grade classrooms that are largely consistent with earlier research, but not in every case.

* Results that are consistent with previous research include increased student achievement associated with teachers dedicating more time to whole-class instruction, suggesting specific practices in response to students' work (first grade only), using more representations of mathematical ideas, asking the class if it agrees with a student's answer, directing students to help one another understand mathematics, and differentiating curriculum for students above grade level (second grade only).
* Results that are less consistent with earlier research were found for second-grade classrooms, and include lower achievement associated with teachers' higher frequency of eliciting multiple strategies and solutions, as well as a higher frequency of prompting a student to lead the class in a routine, and with students more frequently asking each other questions.

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