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icon of glasses and a book Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education


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FY Awards

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Improving Mathematics Achievement through Active Student Participation in Mathematics Classrooms

Year: 2010
Name of Institution:
University of California, Los Angeles
Goal: Exploration
Principal Investigator:
Webb, Noreen
Award Amount: $690,000
Award Period: 2 years
Award Number: R305A100181


Co-Principal Investigators: Megan Franke and Marsha Ing

Purpose: A growing body of research in mathematics education suggests that engaging students as active participants in mathematics classrooms is central to the development of their mathematical skills and understanding. However, research has only begun to uncover details about the kinds of participation that are conducive to learning and the teacher practices that encourage student participation. This project will explore the kinds of student participation that are productive for learning, and the teacher practices that promote high quality student participation and high levels of student achievement in mathematics.

Project Activities: The researchers will conduct secondary data analysis of video- and audio-taped classroom observation data of mathematics lessons focusing on number relations and operations taught in Kindergarten to Grade 6 classrooms. The researchers will examine the relations between teacher practices and student participation at multiple levels (student, small-group, and classroom) on student achievement.

Products: The products of this project include published reports on the relations between teacher practices and student participation on mathematics achievement.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The setting for this study includes elementary classrooms in an urban school in Southern California.

Population: Data were collected from 15 Kindergarten to 6th grade classrooms. The students in the school were ethnically diverse with the student population being 39% White, 19% Latino, 7% Asian, 6% African American, and 30% multiethnic.

Intervention: There is no intervention.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers will conduct secondary data analysis of video-and audio-tapes of classroom observations, teacher interviews, and student achievement measures. All classrooms were video- and audio-taped on multiple occasions (2-3 days per classroom for one hour each) in Spring 2008 and 2009 during lessons focused on number relations and operations. The researchers will be examining the relations between teacher practices and student participation at multiple levels (student, small-group, and classroom) on student mathematics achievement. The intensive video- and audio-tape analysis will allow the researchers to produce detailed information on the participation of each student in the class as well as their individual experiences in relation to teacher practices.

Control Condition: There is no control condition.

Key Measures: Measures of student achievement include students' mathematics scores on the Stanford 10 standardized test, school-developed year-end cumulative assessments, and a researcher developed achievement measure administered school wide.

Data Analytic Strategy: Univariate and multivariate generalizability analyses will be conducted to assess the reliability of measures of teacher practices, student participation, and learning outcomes. Three level hierarchical linear models with students nested within small groups nested with classrooms will be used to examine the types of teacher questioning practices and student participation that are most productive for student's mathematics learning. Several meditational models will be explored, including the mediating role of student participation on the relation between teacher questioning practices and students' understanding of mathematics.


Book chapter

Webb, N.M., Franke, M.L., Turrou, A. C., and Ing, M. (2015). An Exploration of Teacher Practices in Relation to Profiles of Small-Group Dialogue. In L.B.Resnick, C.S.C. Asterhan, and S. Clarke (Eds.), Socializing Intelligence Through Academic Talk and Dialogue (pp. 87–89). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association Publications.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Ing, M., and Webb, N.M. (2012). Characterizing Mathematics Classroom Practice: Impact of Observation and Coding Choices. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 31 (1): 14–26.

Ing, M., Webb, N.M., Franke, M.L., Turrous, A.C., Wong, J., Shin, N., and Fernandez, C.H. (2015). Student Participation in Elementary Mathematics Classrooms: The Missing Link between Teacher Practices and Student Achievement?. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 90 (3): 341–356.

Turrou, A.C., and Fernandez, C.H. (2012). Mathematical Proficiency and Perseverance in Action: The Case of Maria and Andrew. Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, 3 : 67–72.

Webb, N.M., Franke, M.L., Ing, M., Wong, J., Fernandez, C.H., Shin, N., and Turrou, A.C. (2014). Engaging With Others' Mathematical Ideas: Interrelationships Among Student Participation, Teachers' Instructional Practices, and Learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 63 : 79–93.

Webb, N.M., Franke, M.L., Turrou, A.C., and Ing, M. (2013). Self-Regulation and Learning in Peer-Directed Small Groups. British Journal of Educational Psychology , 69–92.