Education Endowment Foundation:Mathematical Reasoning (2022/23 pilot)

Mathematical Reasoning (2022/23 pilot)

Oxford University Innovation
Project info

Independent Evaluator

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society logo
IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society

Pilot to assess the acceptability and feasibility of an online version of the Mathematical Reasoning teacher training programme.

Pupils: 800 Schools: 32 Grant: £300,942
Participating settings: 32

Mathematical Reasoning is a programme designed by University of Oxford (OU) that aims to improve mathematical attainment by developing pupils’ understanding of the logical principles underlying mathematics.

It is a whole class programme that focuses on abilities that underpin mathematical reasoning, quantitative reasoning (the ability to understand the relations between quantities and to use them to solve problems) and arithmetic (the ability to understand the relations between numbers; in the programme, there is a specific focus on additive composition of number and the inverse relation between addition and subtraction).

The programme is aimed at Y2 pupils. The programme is fully resourced and includes online games for pupils to use. The programme consists of twelve teaching units, designed to last approximately 12 to 15 weeks, with children receiving approximately one hour of instruction per week as part of their normal mathematics lessons. During the other mathematics lessons, the teachers continue with their own planned teaching.

Teachers and TAs are provided with online training in order to deliver the programme. The training comprises learning modules which include activities to be completed, videos of other teachers delivering the programme in the classroom and an online forum. Half the training takes place at the start of the programme, and half throughout to support effective implementation. The Year 2 teacher and a TA are expected to take the online training together in order to discuss the activities.

As part of the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund, the EEF is commissioning a number of evaluations of programmes that show promise for increasing pupil attainment.

Mathematical Reasoning has been previously evaluated by EEF, with promising results. An EEF funded efficacy trial found that pupils receiving Mathematical Reasoning made an additional three months’ progress in maths compared to children in comparison schools. The EEF then funded a follow-up effectiveness evaluation which examined the impact of a scalable version of Mathematical Reasoning in a larger number of schools and with less involvement from the original developer, with support from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). In this second trial, pupils who received Mathematical Reasoning made the equivalent of one additional month’s progress in maths, on average, compared to other children. In this trial, rather than delivering the training directly, the programme developers trained Maths Hub teachers who then delivered the teacher training to participating schools.

The team behind Mathematical Reasoning have considered how to scale Mathematical Reasoning, in a way that is closer to its original form where the most impact was found. This led to the development of an online version of the training programme for teachers, which is being piloted in this project.

The EEF is funding a pilot of the revised online version of the programme. EEF want to understand the acceptability and implementation of the new online training model, and its effectiveness at preparing staff for confident and skilled delivery of Mathematical Reasoning. An independent evaluation team at UCL have been appointed to run this evaluation.

The evaluation report will be published in Autumn 2023.