MA Educational Studies – Special Education thesis defence:
The Connection Between the Intervention used for the Gain of Number Facts Knowledge and Success for Students who have Weaker Math Abilities
by: Angela Feyter
Supervisor: Dr. Katrina Korb
Second Reader: Dr. Ken Pudlas
External Examiner: Dr. Lara Ragpot, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Exam Chair: Dr. Allyson Jule
Classrooms around the world contain students who struggle in math. It has been postulated that this is in part due to a lack of familiarity with the basic math concepts of number facts (Fuchs, Fuchs, Compton, Seethaler, & Capizzi, 2006). Previous studies have found that number facts knowledge can be increased through the use of interventions (Kanive et al., 2014; Kroesbergen & Van Luit, 2003; Woodward, 2006). However, many of these studies do not directly address students who struggle nor do they examine the impact of grade level on the success of these interventions. This study seeks to examine the impact of three interventions on students with lower math abilities (LMA). As well, it examined if the student’s grade level impacted the success of the intervention. Sixty-five students in Grades 2-6 from a K-12 school in Alberta participated in one of three interventions. Prior to the intervention, students completed a screening test. The students who scored in the lowest 25% of the screening test per grade were recorded as having LMA. These students with LMA were randomly assigned to one of the three interventions and then the remaining students were randomly assigned to the interventions. The interventions consisted of a drill-and-practice intervention, strategy instruction intervention and peer-mediated practice intervention. Each intervention session was 10 minutes long for three times a week for 10 weeks in total. At the end of the 10 weeks, all participating students completed a number fact test that included 50 randomly selected addition statements and 50 randomly selected multiplication statements. Two 3x2 Analysis of Variances (ANOVAs) were used to analyze the results for each specific research question. Results demonstrated that the three interventions had no significant interaction effect on the number fact knowledge gained by the students with LMA. As well, students with LMA and without LMA benefitted equally from the interventions. It was also found that there was no significant interaction between the grade of the student and the intervention used. Both groups of students (Grades 2-3 and Grades 4-6) benefitted from all three interventions.