Effects of Team-Assisted Individualization on the Attitudes and Achievement of Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Students of Mathematics
Bryant, Reva R.
Johnson, Martin L.
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The philosophy of individualized instruction has been embraced by many school systems in the United States. However, research has not consistently supported claims that this approach will increase academic achievement. Teachers have lodged multiple complaints related to demands and problems imposed upon them and their students as a result of implementing individualized programs. An attempt to alleviate the problems inherent in existing individualized programs has resulted in The Johns Hopkins University staff's development of Team-Assisted Individualization (TAI)--an approach based on the modification of a researched and widely used group-paced model of instruction with cooperative learning teams as one component. This eight-week study evaluated the effects of three treatments on the achievement and attitudes toward mathematics class of 504- students in grades three, four and five. TAI combined student team learning and individualized instruction. Rapid Progress Mathematics (RPM) students used the exact materials as TAI students, but omitted the team component. This treatment was included to determine whether any effects of the program were due to the combination of teams and individualized instruction or only to the materials and procedures. Control students were instructed with traditional materials and procedures. Results of the standardized mathematics test showed significant effects for treatment and grade. After adjustment for pretests, the treatment effects were in the order TAI > RPM > Control. Effects approaching significance were also found on the diagnostic test, but on this test the order of the treatments was TAI> Control > RPM. Results of the attitude scale clearly showed that TAI and RPM conditions created more positive attitudes than did the control classes, but there were no differences between TAI and RPM. Further research will be needed to assess and to adapt these methods for use over a longer time period and to clarify the relative contributions of the team component and the individualized instruction component of the TAI program. However, this study documents the effectiveness and practicality of combining team learning and individualized instruction.