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Evaluation of a state-wide mathematics support program for at-risk students in Grades 1 and 2 in Germany
A.-K. van den Ham, A. Heinze

Evaluation of a state-wide mathematics support program for at-risk students in Grades 1 and 2 in Germany

Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness

Supporting students with difficulties in learning mathematics is a challenge for teachers and educational administrators. Formative assessment is considered to play a successful role in supporting at-risk students as well as students without difficulties in mathematics. There is a need for intervention programs, including formative assessment techniques, that (a) are easy to implement in the regular classroom without requiring radical changes in teachers’ individual teaching style, and (b) are effective in supporting at-risk students at the earliest stage possible in their school careers. This article analyzes an effectiveness trial of a formative assessment program developed to meet these goals and conducted in the first two years of elementary school. The examination of the longitudinal dataset from Grades 1 to 3 (N = 2,330) revealed an effect after the implementation, which was maintained at nearly the same effect size one year after completion of the program. The findings imply that formative assessment can foster the arithmetic achievement of students at risk as well as that of the entire class without changing the curriculum or teachers’ individual teaching style.