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ERIC Number: ED563115
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
Impact of the Teacher Study Group Professional Development Program on Student Vocabulary and Observed Teaching Practice: A Replication in First Grade Classrooms
Gersten, Russell; Dimino, Joseph; Jayanthi, Madhavi; Newman-Gonchar, Rebecca; Taylor, Mary Jo
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The ESEA Blueprint for Reform states that teachers need "effective, ongoing, job-embedded, professional development that is targeted to student and school needs… [and] aligned with evidence of improvements in student learning." Unfortunately, the professional development approaches advocated, though sensible and compelling in theory, have rarely been widely field-tested and evaluated using rigorous research techniques. The situation is slowly changing, but often the results have been mixed. One promising professional development effort in recent years has been the Teacher Study Group (TSG). This approach to professional development is an attempt to orchestrate several of the "best practices" in professional development--linkage to core curriculum, concreteness, establishment of collegial networks, and ongoing related activities--into a feasible model for use in elementary schools. The goal of the TSG professional development program is to enhance instruction by helping teachers integrate research-based instructional strategies into their existing curriculum. The purpose of the study is to examine the impact of the Teacher Study Group, focused on effective vocabulary instruction, on teacher knowledge, observed teaching practice, and student vocabulary achievement when implemented with first grade teachers in Title I schools. The major research questions were: (1) What is the impact of the TSG on teacher knowledge and teaching practice when compared to the professional development efforts being provided by the states and districts?; (2) What is the impact of the TSG on students' vocabulary knowledge when compared with students in classes receiving existing professional development efforts?; (3) What role does fidelity of implementation of the TSG protocols by the facilitators play in moderating the impacts of TSG on teacher and student outcomes?; and (4) What contextual factors facilitate or hinder effective implementation of the TSG? the randomized controlled study was conducted in 61 Title 1 schools (31 treatment and 30 control) from 16 school districts in four states: California, Ohio, Illinois, and Texas. The sample consisted of 182 first grade teachers (94 treatment and 88 control) and a randomly selected sample of 1811 students (940 in treatment and 871 in control). In each district, data were collected from both the TSG and control schools at the same time, by observers and testers blind to condition, to guard against bias entering the data collection process. Preliminary findings demonstrate the potential of the TSG intervention to bring about significant positive impacts at the teacher level (a proximal outcome for a professional development intervention). Tables are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois; Ohio; Texas
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title I
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement