The effect of improved automaticity and retrieval of basic number skills on persistently low-achieving students

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Pegg, J, Graham, L & Bellert, A 2005, 'The effect of improved automaticity of basic number skills on persistently low-achieving pupils', in HL Chick & JL Vincent (eds), Proceedings of the 29th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Melbourne, VIC, 10-15 July, vol. 4, pp. 49-56.

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This research report summarises the results of an exploratory teaching program in a primary and secondary school in rural New South Wales, Australia, focused on improving basic mathematics skills. Pupils, aged 11 to 13 years, identified as consistently low-achieving in Mathematics were targeted. The program ran for approximately twenty-five weeks with pairs of pupils involved in five thirty-minute sessions per fortnight. Results of the program indicate that these pupils were able to decrease significantly their average response times needed to recall number facts. The results also showed that by the end of the program these pupils exhibited important gains on standardised test scores as well as improvements on State-wide testing measures that were not the focus of instruction. Significantly, pupils maintained performance gains 12 months after the intervention was completed.

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