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ERIC Number: ED569154
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 132
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 55
Focusing on Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Teacher Professional Development. NCEE 2016-4010
Garet, Michael S.; Heppen, Jessica B.; Walters, Kirk; Parkinson, Julia; Smith, Toni M.; Song, Mengli; Garrett, Rachel; Yang, Rui; Borman, Geoffrey D.
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
This report examines the impact of content-intensive Professional Development (PD) on teachers' math content knowledge, their instructional practice, and their students' achievement. The study's PD had three components, totaling 93 hours. The core of the PD was "Intel Math," an intensive 80-hour workshop delivered in summer 2013 that focused on deepening teachers' knowledge of grades K-8 mathematics. Two additional PD components totaling 13 hours were delivered during the 2013-14 school year: the "Mathematics Learning Community," a series of five 2-hour collaborative meetings focused on analyzing student work; and "Video Feedback Cycles," a series of three one-on-one coaching sessions where teachers' lessons were observed and critiqued. The purpose of these two components was to reinforce the math content in Intel Math and help teachers apply the content to improve their instruction. Grade 4 teachers from 94 schools in six districts and five states participated in the study and were randomly assigned within schools to either a treatment group that received the study PD or a control group that did not receive the study PD. The key findings on the impact of the study PD on teacher knowledge, practice, and student achievement include: (1) The PD had a positive impact on teacher knowledge; (2) The PD had a positive impact on some aspects of instructional practice, particularly "Richness of Mathematics"; and (3) Despite the PD's generally positive impact on teacher outcomes, the PD did not have a positive impact on student achievement. The study then addressed these research questions: (1) Was the study PD implemented with fidelity; (2) What were the features of the PD as implemented; (3) To what extent did teachers participate in the PD; and (4) What was the impact on teachers' content knowledge, teachers' classroom practices, and student achievement, of offering content-focused PD relative to business-as-usual PD? The results show that the study PD did change some aspects of teachers' knowledge and classroom practice, but not in a way that led to improved student achievement. This may be partially explained by the finding that the math content knowledge and dimensions of instructional practice targeted by the study PD were generally not correlated with student math achievement. The one exception was "Errors and Imprecision," on which the study PD did not have a statistically significantly impact. Thus, future research might focus on identifying PD that will improve this aspect of practice. Future research might also seek to identify other aspects of knowledge and practice to target with PD that are more strongly related to improved student achievement. Appended are: (1) Samples, Measures, and Analyses; (2) Supplemental Information about the Study PD; (3) Supplemental Information Regarding the Comparison of Treatment and Control Teachers' Math PD During the Year of the Study (Service Contrast); (4) Supporting Exhibits for Impact Analyses; and (5) Supporting Exhibits for Correlational Analyses. [To access "Focusing on Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Teacher Professional Development. Executive Summary. NCEE 2016-4009" in ERIC, see ED569155. To view "Focusing on Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Professional Development. Study Snapshot. NCEE 2016-4011" in ERIC, see ED569156.]
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
IES Funded: Yes
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0080