“Early Disparities in Mathematics Gains Among Poor and Non-Poor Children: Examining the Role of Behavioral Engagement in Learning” by Keith Robinson, seeks a correlation between social class and mathematical performance amongst a sample of kindergarteners. The relationship between “poverty status, mathematics achievement gains, and behavioral engagement in learning” was closely examined through multilevel modeling. According to the article, research shows the students belonging to families in poverty tend to “score lower than non-poor students on standardized tests in mathematics at school entry.” Data was collected through a sample of 11,680 “poor, low-income, and non-poor” kindergarteners from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Cohert of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K).
In analyzing the data, BE was essential in the explanation linking performance and poverty. In this study, BE is explained to be the “personal actions” of the kindergartens that demonstrate their “approaches to classroom learning.” The data gathered suggests that encouraging “classroom behavioral engagement” in impoverished students has the potential to balance disparities in mathematics achievement. These results were summarized through descriptive statistics and multi-level analysis. The descriptive analysis highlighted the means and standard deviations of students’ performance through descriptive variables such as identified race, parents’ level of education, and average age. The multilevel analysis compares hypotheses and their actual outcomes.
In analyzing the results, the study’s form of data gathering suggests unreliable results. Evaluations given by teachers of the students, suggest bias. Because their evaluations were thought to have been given with a consideration of the students’ poverty status, race, and performance, the study is unreliable.
Robinson, Keith. “Early Disparities in Mathematics Gains Among Poor and Non-Poor Children: Examining the Role of Behavioral Engagement in Learning.” The Elementary School Journal 114.1 (September 2013): 22-47. Print.