WWC review of this study

Effects of tutorial interventions in mathematics and attention for low-performing preschool children.

Barnes, M. A., Klein, A., Swank, P., Starkey, P., McCandliss, B., Flynn, K., . . . Roberts, G. (2016). Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9(4), 577-606. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1115262

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    518
     Students
    , grade
    PK
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: November 2017

Mathematics achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Child Math Assessment (CMA)

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M Only vs. BaU;
343 students

0.61

0.52

Yes

 
 
23
More Outcomes

Child Math Assessment (CMA)

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU;
346 students

0.58

0.52

Yes

 
 
17

Test of Early Mathematics Ability (TEMA-3)

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M Only vs. BaU;
343 students

14.34

12.82

Yes

 
 
9

Test of Early Mathematics Ability (TEMA-3)

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT and M Only vs. BaU;
518 students

14.93

13.8

Yes

 
 
7

Test of Early Mathematics Ability (TEMA-3)

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU;
346 students

12.51

12.82

No

--
Social-emotional development outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU and M Only;
516 students

0.87

0.83

Yes

 
 
9
More Outcomes

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Un-cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU and M Only;
516 students

0.85

0.82

Yes

 
 
7

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Incongruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU and M Only;
516 students

0.77

0.72

No

--

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Congruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU and M Only;
516 students

0.96

0.94

Yes

 
 
5
Show Supplemental Findings

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Congruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU (supplemental);
345 students

0.96

0.93

Yes

 
 
12

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU (supplemental);
345 students

0.87

0.83

Yes

 
 
10

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. (Not applicable)

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. M Only (supplemental);
345 students

0.87

0.83

Yes

 
 
10

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Congruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. (Not applicable)

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. M Only (supplemental);
345 students

0.96

0.94

Yes

 
 
10

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Un-cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU (supplemental);
345 students

0.85

0.82

No

--

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Un-cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. (Not applicable)

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. M Only (supplemental);
345 students

0.85

0.82

No

--

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Incongruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. (Not applicable)

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. M Only (supplemental);
345 students

0.77

0.71

No

--

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Incongruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M+ATT vs. BaU (supplemental) ;
345 students

0.77

0.72

No

--

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Congruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M Only vs. BaU (supplemental) ;
342 students

0.94

0.93

No

--

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M Only vs. BaU (supplemental);
342 students

0.83

0.83

Yes

 
 
0

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Un-cued Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M Only vs. BaU (supplemental);
342 students

0.82

0.82

Yes

 
 
0

Child Attention Networks Test (Child-ANT) Incongruent Trial Accuracy

Pre-K Mathematics vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: M Only vs. BaU (supplemental);
342 students

0.71

0.72

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 47%
    Male: 53%
  • Race
    Black
    18%
    White
    2%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    72%
    Not Hispanic
    28%

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    California, Texas

Setting

The study was implemented in pre-kindergarten classrooms in Houston, Texas, and San Jose, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa, California.

Study sample

The initial randomized sample was 46.7% female, 71.7% Hispanic, 17.9% African American, 2.2% Caucasian, and was an average 4.5 years old.

Intervention Group

The study examined the effects of the Pre-Kindergarten Mathematics Tutorial (PKMT) intervention. The intervention was implemented in two different ways, either in combination with an attention training intervention (M+ATT group) or in combination with an unnamed placebo activity (listening to books-on-tape) (M only group). The PKMT intervention was implemented over a 24-week period, with 15- to 20-minute daily sessions four times a week (with one day a week for review or make-up sessions). The intervention consisted of 20 activities to support students’ learning of numbers, arithmetic, space, geometry, and measurement. Trained tutors delivered the intervention to pairs of students within each classroom (one student from the M+ATT condition and one student from the M only condition). The tutors introduced one new activity a week for 20 of the 24 weeks. The remaining four weeks were dedicated to review. Tutors monitored progress and adjusted instruction to each child’s knowledge. Students in the M+ATT condition also received an attention intervention, which was composed of vigilance and conflict attention training video games. The vigilance games required students to sustain attention and the conflict games required students to choose between two stimuli. Tutors delivered the intervention over a 16-week period to each student individually, with one eight-minute session per week (eight vigilance game sessions and eight conflict games sessions). Students received reward stamps based on their time spent on task. Students in the M only condition also received a books-on-tape intervention, which involved listening to a recorded audio book while looking at the text of the book. The intervention occurred in eight-minute sessions once per week for 16 weeks. Students received reward stamps based on their time spent on task.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition (referred to as the business-as-usual or BaU group) participated in unspecified math instruction without tutoring. All Texas classrooms were full day, while a majority of California classrooms were half day.

Support for implementation

The tutors received four days of training on the PKMT intervention and an additional full day on the attention intervention. All tutors had to be certified based on lab and field demonstrations. During the intervention, weekly calls were held to provide support to tutors.

 

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