**A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report **

**Russel Gersten, David J. Chard, Madhavi Jayanthi, Scott K. Baker, Paul Morphy, Jonathan Flojo**, Instructional Research

2009

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**Abstract**

The purpose of this study was to use meta-analysis to synthesize findings from randomized control trials and quasi-experimental research on instructional approaches that enhance the mathematics proficiency of students with learning disabilities. A search of the literature from January 1971 to August 2007 resulted in a total of 42 interventions (41 studies) that met the criteria for inclusion in the study. We examined the impact of four categories of instructional components: (a) approaches to instruction and/or curriculum design, (b) providing formative assessment data and feedback to teachers on students’ mathematics performance, (c) providing formative data and feedback to students with LD on their mathematics performance, and (d) peer-assisted mathematics instruction. We first examined the effectiveness of each instructional component in isolation by determining unconditional stratified mean effects and heterogeneity. All instructional components except for student feedback with goal-setting and peerassisted learning within a class resulted in significant mean effects ranging from 0.21 to 1.56. We then examined the effectiveness of these same components conditionally, using hierarchical multiple regressions. We created a model to understand instructional variables that explain significant amounts of unique variance in outcomes. Two instructional components were associated with practically and statistically important increases in effect size – teaching students to use heuristics and explicit instruction. Limitations of the study, suggestions for future research, and applications for improvement of current practice are discussed.

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