Bottia, Martha C., Mickelson, Roslyn A., Stearns, Elizabeth, & Moller, Stephanie
Foundations of Mathematics Achievement: Instructional Practices and Diverse Kindergarten Students
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Do teachers' instructional practices differentially affect the mathematics achievement of kindergarten students whose backgrounds differ in terms of their race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and mathematic academic readiness?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Elementary School Journal
Vol. 115, No. 1, Pp. 124-150
Interactive group activities do not significantly interact with racial categories to predict mathematics achievement. Instructional strategies that include the use of music and movement are not beneficial for African American students; in fact, they are detrimental to their mathematics achievement.
- Drills benefit students who had low academic preparedness. Drills benefited students with high academic preparedness the most.
- Drills are beneficial for most categories of White students, but among White students, interactive group activities are only beneficial for mid- and high-SES students and for students with high academic readiness at the beginning of kindergarten.
- Despite the clear benefits of interactive group activities for some White students, they are exposed to these practices with less frequency than are the other racial/ethnic groups.
- Music and movement, and manipulatives, are not positively associated with achievement for any racial/ethnic group, both strategies harm the achievement of some Black students. Over 90% of low- and high-SES and low- and high-math-readiness Black students work with any component of the manipulatives factor at least once a week. The non-significant effects for Asian students are partially driven by small sample size.
- The math achievement of Black students in the categories of low math academic preparedness and high math academic preparedness decreases the more these students are exposed to music/movement and manipulatives.
- Interactive group activities enhance students’ mathematics achievement in kindergarten. Drills enhance math academic achievement of students with high math academic preparedness in kindergarten, the use of manipulatives as well as music and movement have significant negative effects on mathematics achievement of Black students.
- Black students’ math achievement is negatively associated with higher exposure to the math/movement instructional practices also challenges prior research on the topic.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Elementary School, Instruction, Integration, Math, Race, Racial Composition, SES, SES Composition, Teachers
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
Classroom, School, Student
- Data from Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K) focusing on children's early school experiences. Authors limited the data to White, Black, Latino/a, and Asian Students, the sample consists of 15,840 students (61% White, 15% Black, 18% Latino/a, 6% Asian).
- Mathematics Achievement (measured through item response
theory (IRT) scale scores, which assess the probability of a correct response by estimating the number of correct answers expected if the student had answered all questions for the math test in multiple waves)
- Key IV:
- Frequency of use of certain mathematics instructional practices ; race (White is the reference category), socioeconomic status ; math academic readiness ; previous math scores; race by academic readiness; SES by academic readiness; and race by socioeconomic by math academic readiness categories.
- Control Variables:
- gender, age, cultural capital (English as second language, socioeconomic status of students in kindergarten), whether the classroom is a full day or not (coded 1 for full day), time spent in math, teacher's race, teacher enjoys teaching teachers highest level of education, school size logged, percent of students who are Black, percent of students in school who are Latino/a, region, rural/suburban, school private or not, school magnet or not, school charter or not.