Targeted school‐based interventions for improving reading and mathematics for students with, or at risk of, academic difficulties in Grades 7–12: a systematic review

Auteur(s) : Dietrichson, Jens; Filges, Trine; Klokker, Rasmus H.; Viinholt, Bjørn C.A.; Bøg, Martin; Jensen, Ulla H.

Date: 2020

Pages: p. 1-52

Low levels of literacy and numeracy skills are associated with a range of negative outcomes later in life, such as reduced employment, earnings and health. This review examines the effects of a broad range of school-based interventions targeting students with, or at risk of, academic difficulties on standardised tests in reading and maths. Included interventions changed instructional methods by, for example, using peer-assisted learning, introducing financial incentives, giving instruction in small groups, providing more progress monitoring, using computer-assisted instruction, and giving teachers access to subject-specific coaching. Some interventions targeted specific domains in reading and maths, such as reading comprehension, fluency and algebra, while others focused on building for example meta-cognitive and social-emotional skills. The review summarises findings from 71 studies. Of these, 59 are from the USA, four from Canada, three from the UK, two from Germany, two from the Netherlands, and one from Australia. The interventions studied have on average positive and statistically significant short-run effects on standardised tests in reading and maths. This effect size is of an educationally meaningful magnitude, for example, in relation to the gap between groups of at-risk and not-at-risk students. This means that the most effective interventions have the potential of making a considerable dent in this gap

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