Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Impact of teacher professional development on student achievement in math
Content-intensive professional development (PD) in math boosted fourth-grade teachers’ subject knowledge and some aspects of instructional quality, but did not have a positive impact on student achievement, according to a new report.
The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), in the Institute of Education Sciences, released a new evaluation report today (Sept. 28) that examines the effectiveness of a content-intensive PD program. The PD program included an 80-hour summer workshop (Intel Math) that focused on grades K–8 math, as well as 13 additional hours of collaborative meetings focused on analyzing student work and one-on-one coaching based on observations of teachers’ lessons. More than 200 4th-grade teachers from six districts in five states were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that received the study PD or a control group that did not.
Key findings include:
• The PD had a positive impact on teacher knowledge: Average scores on a study-administered math test were 21 percentile points higher for teachers who received the study PD than for those who did not;
• The PD had a positive impact on some aspects of instruction: Average ratings of teachers’ use and quality of math explanations in the classroom were 23 percentile points higher for teachers who received the study PD than for those who did not; and
• The PD did not have a positive impact on student achievement: Students of teachers who received the PD scored, on average, 2 percentile points lower than control teachers’ students on both a study-administered math test and state assessment. In general, this difference was not statistically significant.