Proficiency With Number Concepts and Operations: Replicating the Efficacy of a First-Grade Mathematics Intervention

J Learn Disabil. 2023 Nov 28:222194231209017. doi: 10.1177/00222194231209017. Online ahead of print.


Conceptual replications are part and parcel of education science. Methodologically rigorous conceptual replication studies permit researchers to test and strengthen the generalizability of a study's initial findings. The current conceptual replication sought to replicate the efficacy of a small-group, first-grade mathematics intervention with 240 first-grade students with mathematics difficulties in a new geographical region. Participating students were randomized into one of three conditions: (a) 2:1 mathematics intervention group, (b) 5:1 mathematics intervention group, or (c) business-as-usual instruction. Relative to the original study, findings from the replication varied. When comparing the treatment groups to the control, results suggested positive effects on all outcome measures, including a follow-up assessment administered one year later. However, differences between the two treatment groups based on group size were not found in the mathematics outcome measures. Both groups also received commensurate levels of observed instructional interactions. Implications for unpacking contextual differences between original research and their replications as well as using future research to explore the quantity and quality of instructional interactions as ways to explain variation in findings of group size are discussed.

Keywords: explicit and systematic instruction; instructional interactions; mathematics difficulties; number sense; replication.