Project M³ Research Study

A research study (2002-2007) was conducted with funding from the United States Department of Education Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act during the initial development of the units. The longitudinal study consisted of field-testing each unit in classrooms with diverse students identified as talented in mathematics and/or with talent potential, as they progressed through grades 3, 4 and 5. There was a comparison group of students at the same schools who were identified in the same way and were tested a year prior to implementation of the curriculum, thus avoiding any possible confounding influence of the program. The entire field test was replicated a second time with a new group of students progressing through the grades. More information is available on the Research Design and Implementation links. Professional development for teachers included working with the new curriculum materials to become familiar with the content and learning the new teaching strategies to enhance high-level student reasoning and communication. The Project M3 staff visited classrooms on a weekly basis and met with teachers to provide support and to make sure the curriculum was implemented with fidelity.

Research results showed highly significant gains in mathematical understanding across all units at each grade level and showed significant differences favoring the Project M3 students over the comparison students on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and open-ended questions taken from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). We received the 2009 award for Outstanding Research Paper of the Year from the National Association for Gifted Children. More details on the research results can be found in the journal articles published in the leading journals for Gifted Education and are available on the Research Results link.