WWC review of this study

Preschoolers’ use of count information to judge relative quantity [Balance-scale tasks with count information vs. balance-scale tasks without count information]

Curtis, R., Okamoto, Y., & Weckbacher, L. M. (2009). Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24(3), 325–33. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ858278

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    35
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: July 2022

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Mathematics outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Balance-Scale Task: Small differences in weight

Balance-scale tasks with count information vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
35 students

0.57

0.19

No

--
More Outcomes

Balance-Scale Task: Small differences in distance

Balance-scale tasks with count information vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
35 students

0.36

0.19

No

--

Rote Counting

Balance-scale tasks with count information vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
35 students

6.71

5.95

No

--

Balance-Scale Task: Large differences in distance

Balance-scale tasks with count information vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
35 students

0.50

0.38

No

--

Balance-Scale Task: Large differences in weight

Balance-scale tasks with count information vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
35 students

0.50

0.52

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 43%
    Male: 57%
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    California
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    100%
  • Ethnicity
    Other or unknown    
    100%
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Other or unknown    
    100%

Setting

The review focuses on Study 1, which took place in a university-affiliated preschool in California.

Study sample

A total of 35 students from two classrooms in one preschool were randomly assigned to the intervention and comparison conditions. The preschool served families from a wide range of socioeconomic statuses and the student sample was 57% male, 43% female, with a mean age of four years, zero months.

Intervention Group

In Study 1 students worked individually with the researcher on a series of balance-scale tasks that required placing various numbers of weights on both arms of a scale. After practice with the scale, students worked through the outcome items: they were shown the balance-scale with weights placed on both arms and asked, “Will this side go down (pointing to left side), will this side go down (pointing to right side), or will they both stay up and balance?” The researcher provided the intervention group support in the form of "count information" consisting of pointing to and counting each weight/peg aloud and repeating the final cardinal value of the set as students completed outcome tasks with a balance scale.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group completed the same balance scale outcome tasks as the intervention group but did not receive any count information.

Support for implementation

No support was provided for implementation.

Reviewed: November 2013

Meets WWC standards without reservations


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 49%
    Male: 51%
 

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