Understanding pathways to maths achievement in year nine pupils: An exploration of working memory and metacognitive skills

Institution: University of Southampton

Investigator(s): Julie Hadwin, D.Phil., Helen Richards, Ph.D., Emma Walker

Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: This study will therefore explore the effectiveness of two interventions on math achievement in secondary school pupils. Specifically, it will investigate the impact of Cogmed and “one to one” math tutoring on mathematics attainment, working memory (WM), math anxiety and meta-cognition in pupils who show difficulties in math in the first year of their GCSE course (year nine). It is hypothesized that the Cogmed will improve math achievement via an increase in WM capacity and a decrease in anxiety. It is also hypothesized that “one to one” tutoring will improve math attainment, but this will be achieved through improved meta-cognitive skills of appraisal, evaluation and through development of meta-cognitive knowledge, i.e. procedural and conditional information about mathematical strategy use.

Population & Sample Size: N = 24 children pre-selected for math tutoring, ages 13- 14 years

Design: Randomized, Controlled, Test-retest