“Statistically Significant” Gains Recognized in Math Achievement for Elementary School Students
March 14, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse has issued a report validating the research that supports Pearson’s Investigations in Number, Data, and Space elementary school curriculum. Among its findings, the WWC report confirmed a “statistically significant positive difference in mathematics achievement” for fourth-grade students in the Investigations in Number, Data, and Space group as compared to students learning with other programs.
The Investigations in Number, Data, and Space mathematics curriculum for students in grades K-5 is designed to help students understand number and operations, geometry, data, measurement and early algebra. The curriculum emphasizes reasoning about mathematical ideas, and supports students as they make sense of mathematics and learn that they can be mathematical thinkers.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an arm of the Department of Education’s Instituteof Education Sciences, validated findings of an independent study by Gatti Evaluation, Inc. Student achievement was measured by the Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE test).
Pearson’s Director of Academic Research Marcy Baughman said, “Funded by the National Science Foundation and developed by the non-profit TERC in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Investigations program represents more than 20 years of research and development aimed at improving the teaching and learning of elementary mathematics. The acknowledgment by the WWC of the rigorous research supporting the efficacy of the Investigations in Number, Data, and Space program further validates the joint commitment of TERC and Pearson to this scientifically-researched, inquiry-based program.”
The What Works Clearinghouse validated the randomized control study by Guido Gatti who conducted the independent research study of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space over two years, concluding in 2010. When issuing his research report, Gatti said, “The GMADE achievement data indicates clearly that both early (1st grade) and late (5th grade) elementary students of differing ethnicity, social economic levels, English proficiency, and mathematics achievement can experience substantial achievement growth with Investigations, and continue this growth over two school years — even when Investigations is implemented by their teachers for the first time.”
Recognition by the What Works Clearinghouse of the strong research supporting Investigations in Number, Data, and Space is a critical validation for schools that are now choosing programs that will prepare their students for more advanced mathematics and for careers that increasingly require collaboration, flexibility, and a problem-solving mindset.
The development of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space for the Common Core was led by the Education Research Collaborative at TERC, including Principal Scientist Dr. Susan Jo Russell, and Senior Project Directors Karen Economopoulos and Keith Cochran, in collaboration with Pearson’s editorial team, researchers, and practitioners.
The Investigations program contains all of the critical elements required by the Common Core State Standards, and embodies the key instructional shifts in the areas of Focus, Coherence, and Rigor emphasized by the Publishers Criteria. Digital tools, such as Investigations for the Interactive Whiteboard with interactive games and activities, the online Student Math Handbook, and eTools, engage students and support and promote conceptual understanding with focus, coherence and rigor.
Teacher support for transition to the Common Core State Standards is provided through Pearson’s online tutorials and on-site professional development, as well as through the TERC workshops and institutes created by the authors of the Investigations in Number, Data, and Space for the Common Core program.
One fifth grade teacher who participated in the Gatti research study summed up her evaluation of Investigations: “I’m looking forward to next year with this program. I think it is making me a better teacher.”
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has global reach and market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).
TERC’s mission is to improve mathematics and science education. TERC works at the frontiers of theory and practice to contribute to a deeper understanding of learning and teaching; enhance instruction through teacher professional development; develop applications of new technologies to education; create curricula and other products; and support reform in both school and informal settings.
Guido Gatti founded Gatti Evaluation in January of 2003 to provide assistance in researching current topics in education and biomed. Since that time, Gatti Evaluation has managed or consulted on large research projects for Fortune 500 companies and major academic institutions. Gatti Evaluation’s research has been reviewed by the What Works Clearinghouse and the Best Evidence Encyclopedia.
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