Slavin, R. E., Lake, C., and Groff, C. (2009). Effective Programs in Middle and High School Mathematics: A Best-Evidence Synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 79(2):839-911. (abstract)
This review examined 100 studies of three types of programs designed to improve achievement in mathematics (Slavin, Lake, & Groff, 2009). In this review, 40 studies of mathematics curricula found very small effects (ES = +0.03); 38 studies of computer-assisted instruction found small effects (ES = +0.10); and 22 studies of instructional process programs found small effects (ES = +0.18); although the effects of specific programs varied widely, with studies of two forms of cooperative learning having medium effects (ES = +0.48).
An earlier review examined 33 studies of four types of programs designed to improve achievement in reading (Slavin, Cheung, Groff, & Lake, 2008); Regarding these programs, no studies of secondary reading curricula met the criteria to be included in the review; eight studies of computer-assisted instruction found small effects (ES = +0.10); 16 studies of instructional-process programs had small effects (ES = +0.21); and nine studies of two mixed-method models that combined large-group, small-group, and computer-assisted, individualized instruction had small effects (ES = +0.23). The third review was conducted by the What Works Clearinghouse based on three studies of a computer-based adolescent literacy program that supplements regular classroom reading instruction in grades K-8. The review found that the program had small effects on reading comprehension (ES = .27) and literacy achievement (ES = .28).
This article reviews research on the achievement outcomes of mathematics
programs for middle and high schools. Study inclusion
requirements include use of a randomized or matched
control group, a study duration of at least 12 weeks, and equality at
pretest. There were 100 qualifying studies, 26 of
which used random assignment to treatments. Effect sizes were very small
for mathematics curricula and for computer-assisted
instruction. Positive effects were found for two cooperative learning
programs. Outcomes were similar for disadvantaged
and nondisadvantaged students and for students of different ethnicities.
Consistent with an earlier review of elementary
programs, this article concludes that programs that affect daily
practices and student interactions have more
promise than those emphasizing textbooks or technology alone.