The impact of the eMath model on mathematics achievement of third grade students
Moore-Rogers, Vicki Lynn
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This study explored the results of a first-year pilot program of a professional development model designed for elementary mathematics teachers. The study examined third grade achievement scores of those students whose teachers participated in the program for the first year. This program modeled specific strategies for targeting mathematics computation skills with technology tools. The eMath professional development model, consisting of 30 hours of professional development, provided an instructional framework for teachers to develop and use multiple assessment strategies integrated throughout their lesson plans. The model had four major foci: creating an engaged learning environment, data-driven decisions (action research), content enhancement, and collaborative learning communities. The following question guided this research study: Did students whose teachers participated in the eMath professional development model perform statistically significantly better on standardized tests than students whose teachers did not participate in the eMath professional development model? Third grade students in elementary schools from two public school systems in Central Georgia served as the sample for this study. The research design included a posttest-only control group design with an experimental group of 232 third grade students taught by eMath trained teachers. The control group consisted of 218 third grade students whose teachers were not trained in eMath techniques. These classes were located in comparable Title I elementary schools. The independent variable in this study was teacher participation or non-participation in the eMath professional development model. The unit of analysis were the CRCT scores (totals and subtotals) of those students whose teachers participated in the training. The dependent variables in this study were CRCT mathematics scores for third grade students (totals and subtotals). After the first year of implementation, it was found that students whose teachers participated in the eMath professional development model did not perform statistically significantly better on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) than students whose teachers did not participate in the eMath model. In fact, students whose teachers employed traditional instructional practices performed significantly better on six out of seven categories than those students with eMath teachers. This finding led to the question: How many hours of training are necessary to show improvement?