These informal lunch talks allow faculty to share their research with peers and students. We hope to encourage collaboration and awareness of the latest topics in our field.
Assistant Professor, Special Education
Building a Program of Mathematics Efficacy Research for At-Risk English Learners
A foremost concern among researchers and educators is how to promote mathematics proficiency among English learners (ELs). Compelling research suggests that ELs do not achieve at a commensurate level as their non-EL peers and that this mathematics achievement gap begins early and widens over time. Given the likelihood that many ELs will struggle to develop mathematical proficiency with core mathematics content, a priority of the field should be to establish effective interventions for ELs who face mathematics difficulties (MD). Yet to date, few methodologically rigorous intervention studies have been conducted involving ELs with MD. Our program of mathematics efficacy research in kindergarten classrooms has sought to fill this void in the early mathematics instruction literature, particularly because the kindergarten year represents a critical tipping point in students’ mathematical development. This presentation shares results from two IES-funded, mathematics efficacy studies involving approximately 850 ELs with MD from over 200 kindergarten classrooms. Discussions will focus on how the field can address the urgent need to build the empirical literature base on effective mathematics instruction for at-risk ELs.