Integration of technology, curriculum, and professional development for advancing middle school mathematics: three large-scale studies

Jun 27, 2013, 16:09 PM
Roschelle, J. Shechtman, N., Tatar, D., Hegedus, S., Hopkins, B., Empson, S., Knudsen, J. & Gallager, L.P. (2010). Integration of Technology, Curriculum, and Professional Development for Advancing Middle School Mathematics: Three Large-Scale Studies. American Educational Research Journal, 47(4), 833-878.

Characteristics

  • Grade/Age level: Middle school
  • Specific Difficulty Addressed: Access to advanced mathematical concepts
  • Type of AT Used: SimCalc- mathematics program

Setting

Method

  • Two randomized experiments and an embedded quasi-experiment: one with 7th graders and one with 8th graders.
  • Multilevel Modeling (MLM)- to examine how teacher, classroom, or school level variables impact student outcomes.
  • Replacement units including workbooks, teacher’s guide, and SimCalc Math World files were developed for 7th and 8th grade curriculums to be used daily for 2-3 week units.
  • The 7th grade theme was “managing the soccer team” while the 8th grade theme was “designing cell phone games.”
  • Teacher professional development was implemented in each study for 3 days during the summer. The purpose was to strengthen necessary math content knowledge, to learn how to use the intervention materials and to discuss potential issues.
  • 7th grade workshops were administered by the experimenters, but 8th grade workshops were implemented through a train-the-trainers model.
  • Students receiving the SimCalc intervention were compared to control students on advanced mathematics and basic mathematics.
  • Student achievement on research developed assessments served as the dependent variable.
  • Two-level multi-level modeling (MLM) analysis was used to correct for student and school level measurement and sampling errors.

Results

  • In each of the three studies (7th grade year 1, 7th grade year 2, and 8th grade), students in the treatment group had significantly higher achievement gains in higher level mathematics concepts and a nonsignificant, but positive trend in higher basic math achievement.
  • Technology use-Students in the experimental group spent more time in the computer lab.
  • Seventh grade experimental teachers spent an average of 2 days more than control teachers on the unit. In the quasi-experiment and the 8th grade experiment there was no significant difference in time spent on the unit.
  • There were significant differences in baseline scores based on gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status; however, there were no differences in amount of learning gains across subgroups.
  • SimCalc used representational technology, and obtained positive results for advanced mathematics achievement, in comparison to previous studies using other forms of technology.
  • Technology may be especially important for teaching beyond basic mathematics.
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  • Math
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