Narrowing the gap: a report on the QuickSmart mathematics intervention

Document Type


Publication details

Bellert, A 2009, 'Narrowing the gap: a report on the QuickSmart mathematics intervention', Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 171-83.

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Peer Reviewed



This article focuses on the cognitive factors that impact on students in the middle school years experiencing learning difficulties in basic mathematics. It begins with a review of selected literature providing information about the learning difficulties in mathematics. Focus then shifts to an implementation of the QuickSmart intervention. QuickSmart is a basic academic skills intervention designed for persistently low-achieving middle-years' students. In this small-scale study, 12 middle school students experiencing learning difficulties participated in the QuickSmart mathematics program. Comparisons are made between the mathematics progress of the intervention group and eight average-achieving peers. The results indicate that on measures of response speed and accuracy QuickSmart participant students were able to narrow the gap between their performance and that of their average-achieving peers. Further, on standardized tests of more general mathematical knowledge, participant students improved significantly from pre-test to post-test. Implications are drawn regarding the importance of interventions that emphasize automaticity in basic mathematics for middle years students with learning difficulties.