WWC review of this study

Longitudinal investigation of the curricular effect: An analysis of student learning outcomes from the LieCal project in the United States.

Cai, J., Wang, N., Moyer, J. C., Wang, C., & Nie, B. (2011). International Journal of Educational Research, 50(2), 117–136. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ938481

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    606
     Students
    , grades
    6-8

Reviewed: January 2017

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Open-ended tasks total score

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 8;
606 students

575.00

565.00

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Problem-posing performance

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 11, bottom third subgroup;
45 students

0.11

0.00

No

--

Problem-posing performance

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 11, middle third subgroup;
45 students

0.27

0.05

No

--

Problem-posing performance

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 11;
136 students

1.56

0.50

No

--

Open-ended tasks total score

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Grade: 7;
606 students

538.00

531.00

No

--

Open-ended tasks total score

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Grade: 6;
606 students

494.00

502.00

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Race
    Asian
    4%
    Black
    64%
    Native American
    1%
    Not specified
    16%
    White
    15%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    16%
    Not Hispanic
    84%

  • Urban

Setting

The study was conducted in 14 middle schools, all of which were located in a single large, urban school district in the United States.

Study sample

Seven middle schools that implemented CMP in grades 6–8 were selected for the study. Another seven middle schools in the district that were not implementing CMP were selected for the study’s comparison group, based on their similarity to the CMP schools on demographic characteristics. The study sample consisted of students who began sixth grade in fall 2005. Students in both the CMP and comparison groups were assessed in fall 2005 (at the beginning of sixth grade), and in spring 2006, spring 2007, and spring 2008 (at the end of each grade). The eighth-grade analytic sample, assessed in spring 2008, consisted of 606 students with an equal number of students and schools in the intervention and comparison groups. The analytic sample was about half the size of the baseline sample, which included 1,284 students. About 85% of the students in the baseline sample were minorities: 64% were African American, 16% were Hispanic, 4% were Asian, and 1% were Native American. The remaining 15% of the students were White. In addition, the CMP and comparison students were tracked into high school and outcomes were assessed at the end of each grade in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades (spring 2009, spring 2010, and spring 2011). In the 10 high schools that were included in this follow-up sample, the CMP and comparison students were mixed together in the same classrooms and used the same (non-CMP) curricula. The eighth-grade findings are considered the main outcomes in this review and presented in Appendix C because they are the most immediate outcome measuring the 3 full years of CMP use. The sixth-, seventh-, and eleventh-grade outcomes are considered supplemental findings presented in Appendix D that do not factor into the intervention’s rating of effectiveness.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention schools used the first edition of CMP (version 1) as their core mathematics curriculum in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in the 2005–06 through 2007–08 school years; specific details about how CMP was implemented in study schools are not provided by the authors.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison schools used one of several traditional mathematics curricula already in use in their schools during each grade (grades 6, 7, and 8); specific details about how the comparison curricula were implemented are not provided by the authors. The authors conducted detailed analyses on the curricular materials to examine differences between CMP and one of the curricula used by the comparison group (Glencoe). The authors noted that there were differences between CMP and non-CMP curriculum; notably, CMP emphasizes problem solving while the non-CMP curricula take a more traditional approach that focuses on concepts and procedures. The authors also indicate that there were some differences between the different non-CMP curricula, but the differences between the comparison curricula were not substantial since they took the same traditional approach to math instruction. The authors did not name the other math curricula used by students in the comparison group.

Support for implementation

The authors did not provide any information on support for implementation.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Cai, J. (2014). Searching for evidence of curricular effect on the teaching and learning of mathematics: Some insights from the LieCal project. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 26(4), 811–831.

  • Cai, J. (2015). Curriculum reform and mathematics learning: Evidence from two longitudinal studies. In S. J. Cho (Ed.), Selected regular lectures from the 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education (pp. 71–92). Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

  • Cai, J., Hwang, S., & Moyer, J. C. (2016) Mathematical problem posing as a measure of curricular effect on students’ learning: A response. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 91(1), 9–10.

  • Cai, J., & Moyer, J. C. (2006). A conceptual framework for studying curricular effects on students’ learning: Conceptualization and design in the LieCal project. Poster presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the International Group of Psychology of Mathematics Education, Prague, Czech Republic.

  • Cai, J., Moyer, J. C., & Wang, N. (2013). Longitudinal investigation of the effect of middle school curriculum on learning in high school. In A. Lindmeier & A. Heinze (Eds.), The proceedings of the 37th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 137–144). Kiel, Germany: The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education.

  • Cai, J., Moyer, J. C., Wang, N., Hwang, S., Nie, B., & Garber, T. (2013). Mathematical problem posing as a measure of curricular effect on students’ learning. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 83(1), 57–69.

  • Cai, J., Nie, B., & Moyer, J. C. (2010). The teaching of equation solving: Approaches in standards-based and traditional curricula in the United States. Pedagogies, 5(3), 170–186.

  • Cai, J., Nie, B., Moyer, J. C., & Wang, N. (2014). Teaching mathematics using standards-based and traditional curricula: A case of variable ideas. In Y. Li & G. Lappan (Eds.), Mathematics curriculum in school education (pp. 391–415). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands.

  • Cai, J., Yujing N., & Hwang, S. (2015). Measuring change in mathematics learning with longitudinal studies: Conceptualization and methodological issues. In J. Middleton, J. Cai, & S. Hwang (Eds.), Large-scale studies in mathematics education (pp. 293–309). Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

  • Hwang, S., Cai, J., Shih, J., Moyer, J. C., Wang, N., & Nie, B. (2015). Longitudinally investigating the impact of curricula and classroom emphases on the algebra learning of students of different ethnicities. In J. Middleton, J. Cai, & S. Hwang (Eds.), Large-scale studies in mathematics education (pp. 45–60). Gewerbestrasse, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

 

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