This intervention study compared the efficacy of small-group tutoring on the mathematics learning of third-grade students at risk for mathematics difficulty using either a school-provided standards-based curriculum (SBC) or a schema-based instruction (SBI) curriculum. The SBI curriculum placed particular emphasis on the underlying mathematical structure of additive problems to represent and solve word problems. At-risk students (N = 136) from 35 classrooms scoring below a proficiency level on their district accountability assessment were assigned randomly to treatment groups. Results indicated interaction effects on the word problem-solving (WPS) posttest and retention tests such that SBI students with higher incoming (pretest) WPS scores outperformed SBC students with higher pretest scores, whereas SBC students with lower pretest scores outperformed SBI students with lower pretest scores. No effects were found on number combinations automaticity, and mathematics and reading achievement. Implications to improve the problem-solving performance of at-risk students are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research reported here was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through Grant 5RC1HD063996-02.
- Mathematical word problem solving
- Schema-based instruction
- Standards-based instruction