Department of Psychology
Our research would not be possible without your help, and we’ve worked with schools all over Yorkshire. Find out what’s involved when you take part in our research, how a visit from us works, and what teachers and children can expect.
Before conducting any research we have to receive ethical approval for the project from the University of York's Psychology Ethics Committee. We then approach Head Teachers with detailed information about the tasks we do and the time commitment they require. If the Head Teacher is happy to be involved, they provide consent on behalf of the school.
We agree the dates of our visits to make sure that the timing of the visit is convenient to the school. Several weeks before our visit, we send the school information sheets and forms to be shared with parents. This lets the parents know what type of activities we will be doing so they can decide whether they want their child to take part.
We aim to arrive in school to meet with the class teacher around 30 minutes before the school day starts. It is really helpful if we can use an interactive white board in the classroom sessions. It is also very useful if we can schedule a brief meeting with the class teacher after school on one of our visit days to get the class information and some details about the maths the children have been taught.
The exact timings of our visits depend on the study. Our visits generally take about one to two hours with the whole class. This tends to take place over one to two days. Typically, we also spend around 30 minutes with each child doing individual testing. It is really helpful if the school can find a quiet spot for us to do the individual testing. We give the children lots of breaks, stickers and praise to make our visit as enjoyable as possible for them. Children generally really enjoy our visits. We can provide any non-participants with activities to do instead of the testing.
The school is also presented with a certificate of participation as a thank you for taking part.
Our research projects are designed to gain greater understanding of early predictors of later mathematical development, to identify potential indicators for children at risk of maths problems and/or to establish key factors underlying mathematics anxiety. Participating in our research gives children the chance to practice key skills, such as mathematics, reading and phonics. Additionally, we provide free teacher training sessions for all participating schools.