WWC review of this study

Impacts of an Early Childhood Mathematics and Science Intervention on Teaching Practices and Child Outcomes

Whittaker, J. V., Kinzie, M. B., Vitiello, V., DeCoster, J., Mulcahy, C., & Barton, E. A. (2020). Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, (13)2, 177–212. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1254361

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    1,007
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: October 2020

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Academic Rating Scale - Math

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
975 students

4.16

4.13

No

--
More Outcomes

Short Tools for Early Assessment in Mathematics (MTP-STEAM)

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 1);
685 students

16.84

16.99

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Academic Rating Scale - Math

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 2);
357 students

4.36

4.12

Yes

 
 
13

Academic Rating Scale - Math

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 1);
618 students

4.06

4.09

No

--
General science achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Academic Rating Scale - Science

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
962 students

3.97

3.87

No

--
More Outcomes

LENS on Science

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,007 students

1.86

1.79

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Academic Rating Scale - Science

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 2);
350 students

4.17

3.97

Yes

 
 
11

LENS on Science

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 2);
379 students

1.85

1.81

No

--

LENS on Science

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 1);
628 students

1.79

1.77

No

--

Academic Rating Scale - Science

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 1);
612 students

3.87

3.81

No

--
Number and Operations outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Number Sense and Place Value

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 1);
687 students

30.58

30.24

No

--
More Outcomes

Number Sense and Place Value

MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample (Year 2);
383 students

30.38

30.48

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: 50%
    Male: 50%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
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    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
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    • f
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    • j
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    • y

    Midwest, South
  • Race
    Black
    29%
    Other or unknown
    17%
    White
    53%

Setting

The study took place in preschool classrooms located in two urban areas, one located in the Midwest and one located in the Southeast, over a two year period. The first year of the study included 126 preschool classrooms and the second year of the study included 69 preschool classrooms.

Study sample

The analytic sample included between 612 and 687 preschool children in year 1 and between 350 and 383 preschool children in year 2. All children in the analytic sample were 4 years old, English-speaking, and eligible for kindergarten in the following year. No children had an individualized education plan. Demographic data were not presented separately for each study year. Of the 1,371 children who took at least one preintervention or postintervention assessment, 50.0 percent were male, 53.4 percent were white, 29.2 percent were Black, and 17.4 percent were another race. Demographic data were not presented for the teachers remaining in the analytic sample at the time of the postintervention assessments in the Spring of each year. Of the 140 teachers who were in the Fall of Year 1 analytic sample, 2.1 percent were male, 92.1 percent were female, and the remaining 5.7 percent did not report their gender. In addition, 68.6 percent were white, 18.6 percent were Black, and 12.9 percent were another race. The average number of years of education and teaching experience were 15.35 and 6.92 years, respectively.

Intervention Group

Preschool children in the intervention group received mathematics and science instruction using the MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science (MTP-M/S) curricula. The MTP-M/S curricula included two mathematics and two science activities for each week of the 33 week school year, for 132 activities in total. Each activity lasted 15-20 minutes and was conducted in a large or small group. The activities were designed to be student-centered and used a structured inquiry approach. The mathematics activities covered number sense, operations, geometry, and measurement topics while the science activities covered life science, earth science, and physical science topics. The MTP-M/S curricula was designed to align with national and state standards. Teachers introduced one investigation activity, an extension of one of the weekly mathematics or science activities, at the beginning of each week. Children completed the investigation activity independently throughout the week. Parents of children in the intervention group received a monthly newsletter with suggested activities to do with their children in support of the MTP-M/S curricula objectives.

Comparison Group

Preschool children in the comparison group received business-as-usual mathematics and science instruction.

Support for implementation

Teachers in both conditions were invited to attend professional development workshops. Teachers in the MTP-M/S curricula intervention group attended an introductory workshop prior to the start of the intervention and eight additional workshops during the course of the intervention (5 in the first year of implementation and 3 in the second year of implementation). The workshops were designed to align their teaching practices with the MTP-M/S curricula and encourage teachers to use the professional development supports available through the intervention. Each workshop lasted 2.5 hours. Teachers in the business-as-usual comparison group were invited to attend the same number of professional development workshops as the MTP-M/S intervention group teachers, however, the workshop topics focused on social-emotional development. Teachers in the MTP-M/S curricula intervention group also received within activity and online professional development support. The within activity support consisted of narrative text with teaching tips for each activity, reflection questions, examples of how to model mathematical and scientific language, and proposed adaptations for children with differing abilities. The online support consisted of 130 video demonstrations showcasing high quality and high fidelity implementations of MTP-M/S. The video demonstrations were each between 3 to 5 minutes in length. Teachers in both groups received up to $400 for each year in which they participated in the study ($175 each year for their data collection efforts and $25 for each month in which they submitted videos).

 

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This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

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