A UT education researcher plans to recruit 150 Austin-area third graders each year for four years to study ways to help students better solve word problems in math.
Sara Powell, an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to conduct the study. Marcia Barnes, a professor in the department of Special Education, will work with Powell on the research.
Powell says being proficient at solving word problems is necessary for successful math performance, but many students are not adequately prepared. Powell’s study aims to assess the effectiveness of word-problem equation-solving tutoring in improving performance in these students.
Each year, the researchers will recruit students who have difficulty in math and assign them to one of two math-tutoring programs or keep them in their usual school environment. During three years, 450 students will participate in the study.