Original Research

Evaluation of maths training programme for children with learning difficulties

Antje Ehlert
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 3, No 1 | a34 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v3i1.34 | © 2013 Antje Ehlert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2014 | Published: 01 June 2013

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Antje Ehlert, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

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Abstract

In the German school system, children are seen as educationally impaired when they are more than two grades behind in their performance in several areas of learning, and this has been the case for several years. A special problem is the fact that support measures are often effective only to a limited extent, or only for a short period.
The study at hand focuses on the question of whether educationally impaired children with large deficits in mathematics can be supported successfully by means of a highly adaptive support measure (MARKO-T), and whether the effects of this support can be maintained over a certain period. For this, 32 educationally impaired third-graders with math deficits were supported individually with MARKO-T twice a week, over a period of ten weeks. As control group, 32 similarly impaired third-graders were paralleled according to the mathematical and cognitive achievements of the training group. Two further control groups, each with 32 unimpaired first-graders, were paralleled according to their mathematical and cognitive achievements, respectively. The results showed that the very poor mathematical performance of the educationally impaired children could be significantly improved with this support programme. Four months after the end of the training, significant support effects could still be established when compared to the educationally impaired control group. The comparison with the two control groups demonstrated that the developmental curve of the children with learning difficulties increased in a way that was comparable to that of the unimpaired first-graders.

Keywords

educationally impaired children, evaluation of MARKO-training, training effects, control group training, maths training programme

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