Does Multi-Component Strategy Training Improve Calculation Fluency among Poor Performing Elementary School Children?
Koponen, T., Sorvo, R., Dowker, A., Räikkönen, E., Viholainen, H., Aro, M., & Aro, T. (2018). Does Multi-Component Strategy Training Improve Calculation Fluency among Poor Performing Elementary School Children?. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1187. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01187
Published inFrontiers in Psychology
© 2018 Koponen, Sorvo, Dowker, Räikkönen, Viholainen, Aro and Aro.
The aim of the present study was to extend the previous intervention research in math by examining whether elementary school children with poor calculation fluency benefit from strategy training focusing on derived fact strategies and following an integrative framework, i.e., integrating factual, conceptual, and procedural arithmetic knowledge. It was also examined what kind of changes can be found in frequency of using different strategies. A quasi-experimental design was applied, and the study was carried out within the context of the school and its schedules and resources. Twenty schools in Finland volunteered to participate, and 1376 children were screened in for calculation fluency problems. Children from second to fourth grades were recruited for the math intervention study. Children with low performance (below the 20th percentile) were selected for individual assessment, and indications of using counting-based strategies were the inclusion criteria. Altogether, 69 children participated in calculation training for 12 weeks. Children participated in a group based strategy training twice a week for 45 min. In addition, they had two short weekly sessions for practicing basic addition skills. Along with pre- and post-intervention assessments, a 5-month followup assessment was conducted to exam the long-term effects of the intervention. The results showed that children with dysfluent calculation skills participating in the intervention improved significantly in their addition fluency during the intervention period, showing greater positive change than business-as-usual or reading intervention controls. They also maintained the reached fluency level during the 5-month followup but did not continue to develop in addition fluency after the end of the intensive training program. There was an increase in fact retrieval and derived fact/decomposition as the preferred strategies in math intervention children and a decrease of the use of counting-based strategies, which were the most common strategies for them before the intervention. No transfer effect was found for subtraction fluency. ...