Report: Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 through 8: A practice Guide


Practitioner: Teaching Design and Practices


Woodward, J., Beckmann, S., Driscoll, M., Franke, M., Herzig, P., Jitendra, A., Koedinger, K.R., & Ogbuehi, P.; U.S. Department of Education




National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences


This section provides information about the role of evidence in Institute of Education Sciences’
(IES) What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides. It describes how practice guide panels
determine the level of evidence for each recommendation and explains the criteria for each of the
three levels of evidence (strong evidence, moderate evidence, and minimal evidence).The level of evidence assigned to each recommendation in this practice guide represents the panel’s judgment of the quality of the existing research to support a claim that, when these practices were implemented in past research, positive effects were observed on student outcomes. After careful review of the studies supporting each recommendation, panelists determine the level of evidence for each recommendation using the criteria in Table 1. The panel irst considers the relevance of individual studies to the recommendation and then discusses the entire evidence base, taking the following into consideration: the number of studies, the design of the studies, the quality of the studies, whether the studies represent the range of participants and settings on which the recommendationis focused, whether findings from the studies can be attributed to the recommended practice, and whether findings in the studies are consistently positive. A rating of strong evidence refers to consistent evidence that the recommended strategies, programs, or practices improve student outcomes for a wide population of students. In other words, there is strong causal and generalizable evidence.


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