Research

Brombacher and Associates offers a wide range of research support in the field of mathematics education. From impact assessments, to researching programme implementation fidelity and assessing learner performance, Brombacher and Associates provides tailor made research solutions to clients.

Some of the recent research activities that we have been involved in are described in the panles below.

CLIENTS

WESTERN CAPE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

  • Impact assessment of continuous assessment training - 2003
  • Impact assessment on the effectiveness of the WCED developed OBE  DVD Series - 2005

JUMPSTART

  • Ongoing assessment of programme impact using digitised mathematics assessments with Grade 1 to Grade 4 students.

JICA

JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) for the Mpumalanga Dept. of Education - 2010.

Pre (March) and post (October) intevention impact study conducted in 2010. The research involved:

  • 12 000 children per study;
  • Test design and development;
  • Fieldworker training;
  • Data capture;
  • Analysis; and 
  • Report writing and presentation.

RTI International

RTI International

RTI (Research Triangle Institute) International is a US based organisation involved in research and intervention. Since 2010, Aarnout Brombacher has consulted to RTI on a range of projects.

As a consultant to RTI Aarnout has been involved in Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRAs) in several countries, including Tanzania, Ghana, Iraq and Jordan; and has led the development and application of Early Grade Math Assessments (EGMAs) in more than eight countries. In many of these studies, he has also contributed to the policy dialogue and benchmark discussions with the ministries of education—in particular in Tanzania, Ghana, Jordan, and Iraq. 

As a Senior Research Analyst with RTI International from 2012 till 2018 Mr. Brombacher has led much of RTI’s mathematics-focused assessment and intervention work. This involves interacting with the various role players, including ministries of education, USAID, UKAID, Global Affairs Canada, other donors, subcontractors, and consultants. He has also done much to improve the efficiency with which some of the technical aspects of projects are executed, in particular using appropriate technologies. In addition to Jordan, Mr. Brombacher’s relevant in-country mathematics experience includes Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Egypt, Iraq, Malawi, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa.
 

Between 2012 and 2014 Aarnout (working for RTI International) led a pilot early grade reading and mathematics intervention study in Jordan. Working closely with the USAID and the Jordanian Ministry of Education, Aarnout led the team that designed and oversaw the development of Ministry-created supplementary materials tailored specifically to address the gaps identified in the National Early Grade Survey conducted in 2012. He and his team were also responsible for training and supervising the trainers responsible for teacher training on this project, including innovations involving mobile phone technology to monitor implementation progress. The results of the pilot intervention study show that the percentage of children reading with comprehension in the treatment school increased from 14 to 24 percent and the percentage of non/beginning readers decreased from 25 to 19 percent after only one year of the intervention. In mathematics, the number of children achieving more than 80 percent on both of the two conceptual Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) tasks (addition and subtraction L2 and missing number) increased from 13 to 27 percent. Following on from the intervention study, Aarnout has also led the research team in developing a remedial reading and mathematics programme for Grades 1 to 3.  The programme used two stages of diagnostic assessments to determine students’ developmental state and then provided support materials to assist teachers address gaps identified by the diagnostic tools. The results of this pilot research demonstrated significant impact on the performance of participating students.

Between January 2015 and October 2018 Aarnout (working for RTI International) has been the Senior Reading and Mathematics Specialist on the USAID & UKAID/Jordan Reading and Mathematics Project (RAMP) a five year ($55mil) project designed to take the activities of the intervention study (described in the previous paragraph) to scale in Jordan. In 2017 Aarnout led the midline study (involving EGRA, EGMA and a range of Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness [SSME]) instruments for the RAMP Initiative. The study demonstrated a statistically significant impact of the RAMP project on both reading and mathematics performance among Grade 2 and Grade 3 students in the Kingdom.