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Version 1.1 – Updated August 2021

Manipulative materials on math

Overview

  • Influence: Manipulative materials on math
  • Domain: Curricula
  • Sub-Domain: Math and sciences
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Potential to accelerate
  • Influence Definition: Manipulatives are physical objects that student use to better understand content ideas and abstract concepts.

Evidence

  • Number of meta-analyses: 9
  • Number of studies: 368
  • Number of students: 22,983
  • Number of effects: 683
  • Effect size: 0.39

Meta-Analyses

Meta-Analyses
Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Effective School Practices Fischer & Tarver USA Meta-analysis of studies of mathematics curricula designed around big ideas 1997 Videodisc math 7 277 22 1.01
IAFOR Journal of Education Sokolowski USA The Effects of Mathematical Modelling on Students' Achievement-Meta-Analysis of Research 2013 Visual aids in math learning 73 9,055 73 0.53
Unpublished Thesis Domino USA The Effects of Physical Manipulatives on Achievement in Mathematics in Grades K-6: A Meta-Analysis 2010 Manipulative materials 31 5,288 35 0.50
Journal of Educational Psychology Carbonneau, Marley & Selig USA A meta-analysis of the efficacy of teaching mathematics with concrete manipulatives 2013 Manipulative materials 55 7,237 55 0.37
Unpublished Thesis LeNoir The effects of manipulatives in mathematics instruction in grades K-college: a meta-analysis of thirty years of research 1989 Manipulative materials 45 0 135 0.19
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Sowell USA Effects of manipulative materials in mathematics instruction 1989 Manipulative materials 60 0 138 0.19
Unpublished Thesis Parham USA A meta-analysis of the sue of manipulative materials and student achievement in elementary school mathematics 1983 Manipulative materials 64 0 171 0.53
Unpublished Thesis Sutawidjaja Manipulative materials in early number instruction: A meta-analysis review 1987 Manipulative materials 19 0 40 0.00
Doctoral dissertation Holmes USA Effects of manipulative use on PK-12 Mathematics achievement: A meta-analysis 2013 Manipulative materials 14 1,126 14 0.22
TOTAL/AVERAGE 368 22,983 683 0.39

Confidence

The Confidence is the average of these four measures, each divided into five approximately equal groups and assigned a value from 1 to 5 based on the following criteria:

  • Number of Meta-analyses
    • 1 = 1
    • 2 = 2–3
    • 3 = 4–6
    • 4 = 7–9
    • 5 = 10+
  • Number of Studies
    • 1 = 1–10
    • 2 = 11–50
    • 3 = 51–200
    • 4 = 201–400
    • 5 = 400+
  • Number of Students
    • 1 = 1–2,500
    • 2 = 2,501–10,000
    • 3 = 10,000–20,000
    • 4 = 20,000–100,000
    • 5 = 100,001+
  • Number of Effects
    • 1 = 1–100
    • 2 = 101–300
    • 3 = 301–600
    • 4 = 601–1,200
    • 5 = 1,200+
Confidences
Number of Meta-Analyses Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Overall Confidence
Confidence Factor 4 4 4 4 4
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