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ERIC Number: ED554177
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 85
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-7102-4
Content-Focused Teacher Meetings as Effective Teacher Learning Opportunities: Do They Really Help Improve Overall Reading Achievement and Reduce the Achievement Gap in First Grade Classrooms?
Kang, Ho Soo
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Teacher professional development has long been of interest since it may affect teachers' learning, the practice of teaching, and student learning. Although empirical research has mainly explored the effect of specific professional development interventions on student achievement, these inventions have been initiated outside the school, and little attention has been given to the effect of content-focused teacher activities conducted in the school, as part of teachers' professional development at the elementary school level. Using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K) data of first-grade students, teachers, and schools, I explored both the overall effects and the potential within-classroom equalizing effects of content-focused teacher meetings on students' reading achievement. This paper also examines the distribution effect of content-focused teacher meetings across classrooms of varying students' pretest scores and family SES. Using a two-level hierarchical linear model, the results indicated that content-focused teacher meetings were not only positively associated with classroom-level mean achievement scores but also significantly related to closing the achievement gap between students with initial lower and higher pretest scores. In contrast, teachers' participation in formal learning opportunities introduced from outside the school exacerbated the achievement gap. Among contextual variables, a teacher's number of reading courses taken in college was associated with decreasing the achievement gap. However, there was no difference in the distribution of content-focused teacher meetings between classrooms which were composed of students who had either high- versus low- SES, or high- versus low- pretest scores. The results of this study suggest that beyond individual participation in teacher learning opportunities which are introduced from outside the school, fostering content-focused teacher meetings in the school may be an effective way to accomplish two key purposes of education: to increase overall student achievement and to close the achievement gap. [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: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey