Implementation von Förderung in der Grundschule : eine vierjährige Schulentwicklungsstudie zum Einsatz mathematischer Förderung im Anfangsunterricht der Grundschule
For about the past three decades intense research efforts in the field of learning and developmental disorders have been conducted, which lead to significant findings with respect to neuropsychology, cognitive psychology as well as didactics. Meanwhile, so-called evidence-based programs for the promotion of key aspects within primary school education, which are based on empirical findings and theoretical assumptions, can be found in large numbers regarding the support of dyslexia as well as dyscalculia. Usually, they are implemented by external (academic) interventions which are limited in time and evaluated in or outside of school. But therein lies a problem: Interventions, which are offered in extracurricular institutions without the link to the learning process in school, scarcely show permanent success. However, even if the teaching staff realizes interventions within the educational context, the success of training is related to considerable losses of effectiveness. To utilize these findings for educational practice, the question arises as how the conditions have to be, under which an evidence-based intervention can be implemented into the school’s everyday life without having considerable losses of effectiveness. Additionally to the aspect of performance increase on behalf of the students, criteria such as acceptance, adequacy, feasibility, fidelity, implementation costs, penetration and sustainability on behalf of the teaching staff and the school system are significant indictors for the success of an implementation. Because of methodological challenges implementation research can be considered as a very young field of study on a national as well as international level. In this present dissertation an implementation study lasting four-years, displaying a realization of mathematical intervention for children with difficult starting conditions within initial tuition of primary schools, will be introduced. It will be asked, which conditions support the success of the intervention. In detail, the following aspects will be considered: (a) Effectiveness of intervention (b) Acceptance and implementation of the intervention (on behalf of the teaching staff) (c) Adaptation of the school’s conditions to the intervention (school organization) (d) Adaption of the intervention to the school’s conditions (program) Thus, the focus is set on the dimensions of school system, staff (teacher) as well as the intervention itself and its effective application. To take these dimensions into account during the process of research, quantitative as well as qualitative data will be collected. In this study the implementation of the intervention has been administered in a gradual, successive process of change within the school system, which passed several phases: Phase 1: Initiating the implementation The intervention had been introduced to three primary schools and the teaching staff received further theoretical and practical training. In the academic year 2014-2015, specific students received promotion according to the intervention by their teachers during separately stated training lessons. After one year of the implementation, it became apparent that the training sessions have been conducted only irregularly and that the students did not achieve any or only small increases in their performance. Phase 2: Adaptation of the school’s conditions to the intervention Since all teachers agreed on the necessity of the implementation of this intervention, they decided to arrange specific changes to the school’s conditions. These changes included effective adaptations in the time table, an improvement in the assignment of teacher hours and organizational meetings in teacher conferences. The aim was to guarantee a regular implementation during the whole academic year. Despite these efforts, the difficulties in a regular implementation and the student’s learning effects stayed low. Phase 3: Adaption of the intervention to the school’s conditions The evaluation of the first two years showed the necessity of changing the intervention itself to adapt it to the school’s conditions. The problem of implementing an evidence-based intervention 1 to 1 into the school’s routine life could be confirmed. Interviews with the involved teaching staff and school management were used to gather information, which gave indications of structural improvements for the intervention. Phase 4: Reviewing the adapted intervention The application of the changed, adapted intervention has been conducted and again controlled at both schools using the newly developed material of the past school year during the fourth year of implementation. However, if changes regarding the intervention were made, it again has to be evaluated concerning its effectiveness. An evaluation limited in time of the implementation – outside of the participating schools – has been conducted parallel. It is very aparent that at both primary schools the effectiveness of the promotion increased significantly by the fourth year of implementation. Especially in the fourth year of implementation a significant rise, and thus a very good promotion effect, can be noticed. To implement an intervention the key aspects of the respective program are of decisively importance. An intervention – implemented by teachers -, which attracts interest in school and at the same time stays potent in its effectiveness, has to allow methodological, didactic and contentual ways of adaptation to lessons and structures of the respective type of school or grade.