Reference Resources iconReview Protocols

This review focuses on mathematics interventions that are typically used in kindergarten through grade 8 and are designed to affect students’ mathematics achievement. Whether an intervention falls under the scope of this review depends on both the grade level and content of the intervention. For example, the review can include students in grades 9–12 if they use a primary mathematics intervention such as pre-algebra.

The following research questions guide this review:

  • Which interventions are effective at increasing the learning of primary mathematics content and skills?
  • Are some primary mathematics interventions more effective for certain types of students, particularly students who are at risk of failure in mathematics?


Math Topic Area Organization.
In June 2015, the WWC restructured our reviews of research on math interventions into two areas instead of three. These two review areas are Primary Mathematics (which includes interventions in which math is presented through multi-topic materials and curricula, typically used in grades K–8), and Secondary Mathematics (which includes interventions that are organized by math content area (e.g., Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus), typically taught in grades 9–12). These two areas replace the prior Elementary School Math, Middle School Math, and High School Math areas, which were organized by student grade level.

Table of Contents

  • Purpose Statement
  • Key Definitions
  • Procedures for Conducting the Literature Search
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Evidence Standards

Protocol Details

  • Version: 3.1
  • Released: June 2015

What is a Protocol?

A review protocol defines the scope of a systematic review. Developed with substantive experts, the protocol defines the parameters for the review, including the research, populations, settings, and outcomes. The protocol also specifies details of the literature search and any topic-specific applications of the design standards.

Protocol versions reflect the version of WWC standards in effect when the protocol was released. Protocol versions that predate the current version of the WWC standards handbook can be used to identify acceptable outcome domains for review within a given topic. The current WWC standards are used to guide the review of studies with acceptable outcomes.

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