April 14, 2011 — Coral Gables — Marjorie Montague, professor in the School of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning, has been awarded a three-year $1.6 million research grant for her project titled “Solve It! – Grades 5-6: Improving Math Problem Solving for Students with Learning Disabilities.”
The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, will modify an existing intervention validated by Montague in previous research involving middle school students with disabilities in inclusive math classrooms in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The National Assessment of Educational Performance in 2007 indicated that 40 percent of participating fourth-grade students with disabilities scored below the basic level compared to 15 percent of fourth-grade students without disabilities. The gap widened in the eighth grade and again in the twelfth grade, with 83 percent of students with disabilities scoring below the basic level compared to 36 percent of their nondisabled peers.
To meet the national and state standards in mathematics, students with disabilities in urban schools, who vary considerably in ability, achievement, and motivation, must develop the necessary problem-solving skills needed not only to perform well on mathematics assessments, but also to apply these skills successfully in real world settings, according to Montague.
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