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Pearson Research Overview

Pearson Education is committed to using scientific, evidence-based methods in the development of its educational curricula. A research team, comprised of educational research methodologists, has been working with Pearson for seven years to integrate scientific research practices into the development of its curricula. Pearson also collaborates with regional education laboratories, universities, and private research companies to independently evaluate the effectiveness and usability of its curricula. These studies are designed to meet the rigorous standards of the What Works Clearinghouse.

Four phases of research are incorporated into the development of each new curriculum. The goal of establishing such extensive research methods is to ensure that every program enables all children to learn the skills and concepts they need for academic success. During the first phase of the research process, previous editions of the curricula are evaluated to determine best instruction and practices as demonstrated by scientific evidence. These practices will be incorporated into the current curricula to begin establishing a scientific research base.

During the second phase the authors and researchers conduct extensive literature reviews on content, instructional practices, and education standards. The data is synthesized and embedded into the curricula.

During the third phase, formative research is conducted on the curricula under development. Classroom field tests investigate usability, teacher and student feedback, and preliminary curricula effectiveness. School administrators, content specialists, and classroom teachers systematically evaluate the curricula in development.

The final phase of research examines the implementation and effectiveness of the curricula. Independent, randomized control trial studies are conducted to provide scientific evidence of student achievement on standardized assessments. Implementation and best practices are documented throughout the study period to further contribute to the effectiveness of the curricula. Pearson believes that research needs to be ongoing with continual feedback to inform product revisions to meet student and teacher needs.

enVisionMATHFoundational Research

Pearson has used a variety of research methods as a base on which to build our enVisionMATHprogram. The precursor to enVisionMATH is the Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics (S AW Mathematics) program. S AW Mathematics is a scientific, evidence-based program with empirical data that proves its effectiveness in increasing student math achievement. The enVisionMATH authors reviewed the scientific research studies supporting S AW Mathematics to identify the best instructional practices and characteristics to incorporate into the enVisionMATH program. Some of the key findings from their review and an explanation of how these findings were incorporated into the 2009 enVisionMATH program are outlined below:

  • Significant increase in classroom use of math games led to the development of two ready-made daily center activities.

  • S AW Mathematics programs led to significant improvement in students’ communication of math, which translated into more opportunities for integrating math and language arts in the new program.

  • The student understanding of math that improved through use of S AW Mathematics translated to greater focus through daily conceptual development incorporating interactive, visual, and symbolic instruction in enVisionMATH.

  • Manipulative use was highly rated and helped improve student engagement—therefore use was increased in enVisionMATH.

  • Intervention and individualized instruction were enhanced and streamlined.

  • The consistent, predictable lesson structure was augmented.

Please see the Pearson Web site (PearsonSchool.com) for a full description of the S AW Mathematics foundation, efficacy studies, and a report that fully describes the components of S AW Mathematics incorporated into enVisionMATH.

Formative research for 2009 enVisionMATH began in spring 2005 with the execution of a survey and focus groups. First, a lobby survey was administered to 86 teachers in the spring of 2005 throughout five locations in Pennsylvania, Texas, and California. The lobby survey elicited opinions about teachers’ greatest challenges in teaching math, most important criteria, and current program/material usage. The results of this survey were used to prepare for upcoming focus groups. These focus groups were held in three locations in Pennsylvania and California for grades 1 and 4. In this first round of prototype testing, the enVisionMATH Student Edition (SE) and Teacher’s Edition (TE) prototypes were reviewed, rated, and discussed by focus group participants. Their feedback was shared with editorial and authors to revise the prototypes to better meet teacher needs.

Following these focus groups, exploratory research into the Texas math market was conducted in April 2005. A total of four focus groups were held, two each in San Antonio, and a total of 36 first- and fourth-grade teachers participated. The purpose of these focus groups was to have teachers discuss the instructional process in its entirety by actually deconstructing the process. That is, they could focus more on the end results or outcomes teachers hope to achieve in the classroom rather than on the materials used. This feedback helped Pearson ensure the enVisionMATH program included the content and strategies to assist students in successfully achieving the critical outcomes identified by their teachers.


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