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ERIC Number: ED533983
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 311
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-2351-2
Evaluating the Impact of Professional Development and Curricular Implementation on Student Mathematics Achievement: A Mixed Methods Study
Krupa, Erin Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
In this era of high-stakes testing and accountability, curricula are viewed as catalysts to improve high school students' mathematics performances and a critical question is whether single subject or integrated curricula produce stronger student outcomes. This study was designed to investigate the effects of an integrated reform-based curriculum, "Core-Plus," on student learning on statewide End of Course exams (EOC-Algebra I and II) and to contextualize these outcomes in a state-funded professional development program with the elements of a summer program, follow-up workshops, and monthly site based support with instructional coaches. The study was also designed to compare and contrast major subgroups: teachers using "Core-Plus" who did or did not participate in different elements of the professional development. In addition, the study was designed to gather evidence on the variations among these groups on key implementation indices, and to use hierarchical linear modeling to investigate the role of these factors in predicting student outcomes. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to account for the nesting of students within teachers within schools to investigate the impact of integrated mathematics and subject-specific curricular materials on student achievement across students in North Carolina. The sample was then restricted to students of teachers who participated in the state-funded professional development to relate teacher characteristics to student outcomes. The sample was further restricted to teachers who participated in different components of the professional development to analyze how curricular implementation effects student achievement and to examine factors that influenced decisions teachers made when implementing "Core-Plus." Findings from this study indicate that North Carolina students enrolled in integrated mathematics outperformed subject-specific students on the Algebra I End-of-Course exam, which was highly aligned with content in "Core-Plus" textbook, and performed no differently on the Algebra II exam, which was not aligned with the "Core-Plus" materials. There were favorable findings on the use of integrated mathematics in high minority, high need schools. Consistently prior achievement, student grade level and race, and classroom attendance were related to student achievement, as well as teacher content knowledge, most notably for teachers of "Core-Plus." This study documented large variance in teachers' implementation of "Core-Plus" based upon the professional development they received and their experiences using the materials with students. Factors that related to their implementation of the curriculum and related instructional practices included their beliefs about how students best learn mathematics, their trust of the curriculum, and systemic factors including mandatory state assessments, access to materials and technology resources, scheduling, and student transition to reform mathematics. Teachers enrolled in the summer workshops more faithfully implemented content from the textbook, but instructional coaches were an important component to facilitating change in teachers' instructional practices. Results from this study demonstrate that teachers using "Core-Plus" need professional development designed to strengthen their mathematical content knowledge and reform-based instructional practices. Findings suggest encouraging results for the use of integrated mathematics with typically underserved student populations and among teachers who were provided with sustainable support following an authentic workshop experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina