Experiments in Teacher Professional Learning: Testing Design Features that Accelerate Instructional Improvement in Mathematics
Teacher professional learning is a critical part of the mathematics education landscape. For decades, professional learning has been the primary strategy for developing the skills of the teaching workforce and changing how teachers interact with students in classrooms around academic content. Professional learning also can be expensive for districts, both financially and in terms of teacher time. Given these investments, most school leaders wish to spend their professional development dollars efficiently, making decisions about professional learning design that maximize teacher and student learning. However, despite more than two decades of rigorous research on professional learning programs, practitioners have little causal evidence on which professional learning design features work to accelerate teacher learning. This project seeks to identify features of teacher professional learning experiences that lead to better mathematics outcomes for both teachers and students.
In this project, researchers are working with 4th and 5th grade teachers to improve their mathematics instruction by experimenting with different ways to implement the MQI model of professional development. The professional development experiences are intentionally aligned with the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) observation instrument. This research can inform models of professional development by providing more information about various ways that the same model of professional development can be implemented.
Investigating the Effect of Professional Development, Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, and Instruction on Student Outcomes
To meet College and Career-Ready standards in mathematics, classroom instruction must change dramatically. As in past reform efforts, many look to professional development as a major force to propel this transformation, yet not enough is known about mathematics professional development programs that operate at scale in the United States. In this project, we evaluated one such program.
Supporting Teachers to Develop Equitable Mathematics Instruction Through Rubric-Based Coaching (Collaborative Research: Hill)
This project brings together a successful mathematics rubric-based coaching model (MQI Coaching) and an empirically developed observation tool focused on equity-focused instructional practices, the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (EAR-MI). The project measures the effects of the coaching model on teachers' beliefs and instructional practices and on students' mathematical achievement and sense of belonging in mathematics. The project also investigates how teachers' attitudes and beliefs impact their participation and what teachers take away from engagement with the coaching model.
This descriptive study will systematically track key instructional indicators in middle school mathematics classrooms, specifically, teachers' mathematical knowledge, the curriculum in place, and the nature of mathematics instruction offered to students.
This project proposes an assessment study that focuses on improving existing measures of teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT). The research team will update existing measures, adding new items and aligning the instrument to new standards in school mathematics.