Program

May 19, 2009

OVERVIEW

Team-assisted individualization
was designed to counter the heterogeneity of the classroom. The program was
specifically designed to teach math to students in grades 3 through 6 or to
teach older students who are not ready for algebra. There were no significant
improvements in high-achieving students using this program. In all studies,
except one about high-achieving students, TAI groups were significantly more
likely to have higher math achievement scores than control groups. Also, TAI
groups were more likely to enjoy math class, and were less likely to have
behavior problems than the control group. The TAI group did not have a
significantly greater score on attitude toward school than the control group in
one study.TAI showed significantly higher
scores on liking math for 2 studies, self confidence, negative peer behavior,
friendships, classroom behavior, and math achievement for 2 studies (nonsignificant
for 1 study). One study showed significant increases in math computation scores
for the TAI condition over the control condition. In one study, TAI showed
significantly higher scores than an individualized instruction curriculum for
self confidence and for classroom behavior, but there were no significant
differences between the two groups on liking math, negative peer behavior,
friendships, or math achievement.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Elementary school students

Team-assisted
individualization (TAI) combines cooperative learning and individually-paced
instruction. In cooperative learning, a small, heterogeneous group of students
learn together at the same pace and are rewarded based on performance of the
members. Such a setting allows students who are further along to help students
who are lagging behind. In individually-paced instruction, students work on
their own packets at their own pace. Students either grade their own work or the
teacher grades it when they finish. When a sufficient number are correct, they
may move on to the next exercise.

TAI combines these two
approaches by having students work in groups of two or three on an assignment at
their skill level. They work on a certain number of problems and grade one
another’s work. Then they take a quiz, the quiz is graded by a teammate and then
reviewed by one of three student monitors. After the student monitor approves
the quiz, he or she hands out a final test and scores it after completion.
Students are also rewarded for positive scores on their work.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Slavin, R. E., M. B. Leavey,
et al. (1984). “Combining cooperative learning and individualized instruction:
effects on student mathematics achievement, attitudes, and behaviors.” The
Elementary School Journal 84
(4): 410-422.

Evaluated population: Students in grades 3-5

This study evaluated TAI using
two different populations. Study 2 was not a randomly assigned experiment, so we
focus on Study 1 in this writeup. In Study 1 (N=504), the students were from a
middle-class suburban Maryland school district. Eighty percent of the students
were White, 15% Black, and 5% Asian-American. Twenty-three percent of the
students were receiving some kind of special instruction (6% for a severe
learning disability and 17% for reading or speech issues). The sample came from
18 classes in six schools.

Approach:
The six schools were randomly assigned to one of
three conditions: TAI, individualized instruction without student teams, or a
control condition. Students were subject to the treatments for eight weeks in
the spring of 1981.

The authors examined three main
outcome measures: mathematics achievement, attitudes, and behavior ratings.
Items assessing attitudes toward math examined how much students like math class
(for example, “This math class is the best part of my school day”) and students’
math self-concept (measured by questions like “I’m proud of my math work in this
class” and “I worry a lot when I have to take a math test”). Teacher ratings of
student behavior contained four subscales, which were classroom behavior,
self-confidence, friendships, and negative peer behavior.

Results:
For all outcomes, the children in the TAI condition
performed more positively than the control group, regardless of pretest scores.
The TAI group had significantly higher mathematics scores, were more likely to
enjoy math class, and were less likely to have behavior problems than the
control group.

The TAI performed better than
the individualized instruction for two out of the seven outcomes: classroom
behavior and self-confidence.

Slavin, R. E. and N. L.
Karweit (1985). “Effects of whole class, ability grouped, and individual
instruction on mathematics achievement.” American Educational Research
Journal 22
(3): 351-367.

Evaluated population:Students in 22 grade 3-5 classrooms (N=480)
around Hagerstown, Maryland were involved in this experiment. Ninety-one percent
of students were White, 7% Black, and 2% Asian-American.

Approach:
Classrooms were randomly assigned to four conditions:
the Missouri Mathematics Program (MMP), Ability Grouped Active Teaching (AGAT),
Team-assisted individualization (TAI), and a control.

The authors measured mathematics
achievement using two standardized tests. Students’ attitudes were measured
using students’ self-reports. Liking of math class was assessed by questions
like “this math class is the best part of my school day” and self-concept was
assessed by questions like “I’m proud of my math work in this class” and “I
worry a lot when I have to take a math test.” To measure implementation of the
treatment condition, the teachers were observed to ensure that they were using
the critical features of their treatments

Results:
Students under the TAI condition were significantly
more likely to enjoy math. The TAI condition had significantly higher math
achievement scores than the control condition. There were no significant results
for treatment differing by various achievement levels, by gender, or by race at
baseline. For example, whites did not have a greater increase in math
achievement than blacks. Those who had lower scores at baseline and therefore
more room to grow did not show a greater increase in math achievement than those
with higher scores at baseline.

Karper, J. and S. A.
Melnick (1993). “The effectiveness of team accelerated instruction on high
achievers in mathematics.” Journal of Instructional Psychology 20(1).

Evaluated population:Students in grades 3-6 were evaluated. The
samples consist of students in the Derry Township School District in Hershey,
Pennsylvania, a small, affluent district with higher than average achievement.
For studies one (N=504) and three (N=1,371), grades 3, 4, and 5 were used. For
study two, grades 4, 5, and 6 were used. Studies four and five did not have a
control group.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to one of four
classrooms: two teaching with TAI and two using traditional mathematics
instruction. Some students were not randomly assigned because of Gifted Program
placement.

Two main outcomes were measured:
standardized student achievement scores and students’ attitudes toward school.

Results:
No significant differences were found between the
experimental and control groups at posttest for mathematics achievement or
attitudes toward school. Also, it is important to note that for the students’
attitudes toward school, only 100 cases were useable. The authors report that
all five studies showed significant increases in math computation scores for the
TAI condition over the control condition.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Karper, J. and S. A. Melnick
(1993). “The effectiveness of team accelerated instruction on high achievers in
mathematics.” Journal of Instructional Psychology 20(1).

Slavin, R. E. and N. L.
Karweit (1985). “Effects of whole class, ability grouped, and individual
instruction on mathematics achievement.” American Educational Research
Journal 22
(3): 351-367.

Slavin, R. E., M. B. Leavey,
et al. (1984). “Combining cooperative learning and individualized instruction:
effects on student mathematics achievement, attitudes, and behaviors.” The
Elementary School Journal 84
(4): 410-422.

KEYWORDS: Middle Childhood (6-11), Adolescence
(12-17), Children, Elementary School, Suburban, Education, Behavioral Problems, Education, Self-Esteem/Self-Concept,
Mathematics, White or Caucasian, Black or African American.

Program information last
updated 5/19/09