What are the impacts of the MAP programme?

This study from the Institute of Education Sciences in the US examined the impact of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) programme on pupil reading achievement and teachers’ use of differentiated teaching practices. The MAP programme consists of two components: computer-adaptive tests administered three or four times per year and training and online resources for administrators and teachers to understand and use results to differentiate teaching.

Thirty-two primary schools in five districts in Illinois, US, participated in the two-year randomised study. Results indicate that the MAP programme was implemented with moderate fidelity, but that MAP teachers were not more likely than control group teachers to have applied differentiated teaching practices in their classes. Overall, the MAP programme did not have a statistically significant impact on pupils’ reading achievement in either Grade 4 or Grade 5 (Year 5 or Year 6).

Source: The impact of the measures of academic progress (MAP) program on student reading achievement (2012), Institute of Education Sciences

Translating effect sizes for practitioners and policy makers

This report from the Institute of Education Sciences in the US is targeted at researchers who conduct and report on education intervention studies. It aims to help researchers present statistics in ways that allow their size and practical significance to be more readily understood by practitioners, policy makers, and other researchers. Three key issues are addressed:

  • Inappropriate and misleading presentation of the size of intervention effects;
  • Representing effects descriptively; and
  • Assessing the practical significance of intervention effects;

Source: Translating the statistical representation of the effects of education interventions into more readily interpretable forms (2012), Institute of Education Sciences

Impact of a CPD course for science teachers

Making Sense of SCIENCE is a continuing professional development (CPD) course focused on force and motion. It incorporates physical science content, analysis of student work and thinking, and classroom teaching to develop teacher expertise about force and motion and science teaching. In this study from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, researchers examine the impact of the CPD on 8th grade (Year 9) pupil achievement in science. More than 100 Year 9 teachers were included in the sample.

Results indicated that the teachers who received the CPD had greater content knowledge about force and motion and confidence in teaching force and motion than teachers who did not receive the CPD. However, there was no impact of the programme on pupils’ physical science test scores.

Source: Effects of making sense of SCIENCE professional development on the achievement of middle school students including english language learners (2012), Institute of Education Sciences

What makes for an effective summer reading programme?

This study from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences tested the effectiveness of a summer reading programme on improving reading comprehension for disadvantaged Grade 3 pupils (age 8–9) reading below the 50th percentile. As part of the programme, children were sent a single delivery of eight books matched to their reading level and interest area during the first part of the summer. The delivery was followed by six weekly reminder postcards.

Findings showed that the summer reading programme did not have a statistically significant impact on pupil reading comprehension. However, the authors note that the study’s conclusions are constrained by several aspects of the programme’s design, including that the programme lasted just one summer and did not include teacher instruction and parent involvement. In previous studies, programmes with these components were found to be effective.

Source: Does a summer reading program based on Lexiles affect reading comprehension? (2012), Institute of Education Sciences