The effects of whole group instruction versus individual instruction on mathematical achievement of middle school students

Education has moved in the direction of individualization. Whenever a teacher has an opportunity to individualize instruction to benefit the different needs of students, better achievement may be obtained. This may not apply to mathematics, since most middle school mathematics classrooms are taught using whole group instruction. The author is a math teacher at a school that has implemented an individualized math curriculum. The author, after teaching middle school mathematics for one year, was not convinced that individualized instruction yielded the most achievement. The author set out to measure whole group instruction versus individualized instruction in mathematics achievement. Ten seventh grade students were selected for this study. The author taught the students using whole group instruction for 45 days followed by another 45 days of individualized instruction. The author used end of chapter test scores to measure achievement of the two teaching approaches. The trends from the study showed that whole group instruction yields greater achievement in mathematics. Since this study was conducted the author's school has implemented more whole group instruction into their middle school and high school mathematics curriculum. Keywords Whole group instruction, individual instruction, basal, mathematics, middle school, quantitative research, qualitative research