A study to evaluate the impact of a Numicon-based intervention on the numeracy attainment and attitude towards numeracy of children in lower Key Stage 2 identified as experiencing difficulties in mathematics

Forder, Kate (2016) A study to evaluate the impact of a Numicon-based intervention on the numeracy attainment and attitude towards numeracy of children in lower Key Stage 2 identified as experiencing difficulties in mathematics. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

“The evidence base on numeracy interventions is patchy” (DfE, 2012, p. 6), and in the majority of studies the statistical analysis of data is not without its limitations (Dowker, 2009). The purpose of this study is therefore to add to this evidence base.

A mixed methods explanatory sequential design was used to explore the efficacy of a Numicon-based intervention on the numeracy attainment and attitudes towards numeracy of children in Year 3 experiencing mathematical difficulties.

Phase 1 implemented a pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design to explore the impact of a Numicon-based intervention across four primary schools. Twenty-five children aged 7 to 8, working at Levels 1C to 2B in numeracy, were allocated to the experimental condition (n = 15) and waiting list control (WLC) condition (n = 10). Interventions were delivered during the autumn term to children in the experimental condition by trained staff within school. The duration and content of sessions varied depending upon the needs of the children. The WLC condition received the intervention during the spring term.

The Sandwell Early Numeracy Test- Revised (SENT-R) was administered to investigate the impact of the intervention on numeracy attainment. At post-testing, no statistical significance was found between the experimental and WLC conditions. The null hypothesis was therefore accepted. The ‘Maths and Me Survey’ was used to measure children’s attitudes towards numeracy. Again, at post-testing, no statistical significance was found between conditions, and so the null hypothesis was accepted.

During phase 2 of the study, interviews were conducted to obtain the facilitators perceptions of the intervention. Using thematic analysis, two overarching themes were identified: ‘outcomes of the intervention’ which focussed on affective factors and children’s knowledge and understanding; and ‘factors and underpinning mechanisms’, which considered the importance of a whole school ethos, the role of parents, features of Numicon, practicalities of implementing an intervention and theoretical underpinnings.

The findings of the current study are considered in light of previous research, as are the implications for Educational Psychologists and other professionals. Methodological issues that arose during the study are also discussed. Areas of future research are considered, focussing on the need for more research into the efficacy of Numicon-based interventions and on the development of attitudes towards numeracy.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Atkinson, Sarah
Lambert, N.
Ryrie, N.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1024 Teaching
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 36971
Depositing User: Forder, Kate
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2017 15:09
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 14:25
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/36971

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