IES Releases Synthesis of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning

IES_NCESThe Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has released a synthesis of research it has funded on mathematics teaching and learning, Synthesis of IES- Funded Research on Mathematics: 2002-2013.

This synthesis reviews published papers on IES-supported research from projects awarded between 2002 and 2013. The authors identified 28 specific contributions that IES-funded research made to support mathematics learning and teaching from kindergarten through secondary school. The publication organizes the contributions in two categories: Improving Mathematics Learning and Development & Evaluation of Teacher Professional Development Approaches.

Within the Improving Mathematics Learning section, conclusions are offered in the following areas:

  • Whole Numbers, Operations, and Word Problem Solving in Elementary School
  • Fractions and Algebra in the Middle Grades

Regarding Development and Evaluation of Teacher Professional Development Approaches, IES-funded research supports the following conclusions:

  • Teacher professional development that helps elementary school teachers build on a previous Pre-K mathematics intervention can boost the long-term effectiveness of the Pre-K intervention.
  • Teacher professional development using a Lesson Study approach and targeting specific mathematics content can improve teachers’ knowledge and lead to improvements in students’ learning of fractions.
  • Teacher professional development that helps teachers create a supportive and safe environment for learning can improve the quality of third-grade mathematics instruction, although it does not directly improve end-of-year state test scores.
  • Insufficient support from principals and insufficient teacher knowledge are potential barriers to effective teacher professional development.

Each section describes the contributions IES-funded researchers are making in these areas and discusses the projects behind the conclusions. The synthesis was published by IES’ National Center for Education Research and National Center for Special Education Research.


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