How Do Induction and Continuing Professional Development Affect Beginning Middle School Math Teachers' Instruction and Student Achievement?

This project will study the impact and effect of the use of induction for first year middle grades mathematics teachers in three districts in Tennessee and Kentucky, including rural and urban settings. The purpose of this project is to study the links of components of induction to improved instruction and student achievement.

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This project will study the impact and effect of the use of induction for first year middle grades mathematics teachers in three districts in Tennessee and Kentucky, including rural and urban settings. The purpose of this proposal is to study the links of components of induction to improved instruction and student achievement. In the first year the team will develop a conceptual framework for the study of the induction process and adapt and refine a coherent, integrated set of research instruments. During the course of the project they will 1) draft the instruments; 2) validate these ideas and findings through focus groups; 3) hold a working conference to share ideas, and to assess the face and content validity of the instruments and 4) conduct two rounds of cognitive interviews to refine the instruments. In years two to five they will study the sources of support for new math teachers' content and pedagogical content knowledge development, including mentorship, formal and informal interactions with other teachers and other aspects of school and district induction. They will build on earlier work to explore how the quality of these supports influences the development of middle school math teachers' content and pedagogical content knowledge, the content and quality of their instruction and their students' achievement. They will initiate a longitudinal study of all new middle school math teachers in each of three districts (estimated at 15 new teachers per district), using their portfolio of research instruments. In the second and third years of the longitudinal study, they will add an additional cohort of beginning teachers in each district as well as continue to follow the teachers who they began to study the prior year, for a total of 135 teachers across the four-year longitudinal study.

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