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Studying Teacher Professional Development: Challenges and Possible Solutions Rossella Santagata Assistant Professor, University of Studying Teacher Professional Development: Challenges and Possible Solutions Rossella Santagata Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine Research Scientist, Lesson. Lab Research Institute, Santa Monica, CA 1

Overview of Presentation • Background: TIMSS video research and implications for PD • PD Overview of Presentation • Background: TIMSS video research and implications for PD • PD Program under study • Research Study: questions, sample and design • Key measures • Challenges and some possible solutions 2

Study Background and Goals • Builds on key findings of TIMSS 1999 Video Study. Study Background and Goals • Builds on key findings of TIMSS 1999 Video Study. • Aims at helping 6 th-grade mathematics teachers to maintain the cognitive level of rich mathematics problems. • Key topic areas: fractions, ratio/proportion, and variables/expressions 3

PD Program Can we get teachers to effectively engage students in thinking about math PD Program Can we get teachers to effectively engage students in thinking about math concepts? • Three video-based modules, each focusing on: • Mathematics content knowledge • Analysis of videotaped lessons (strategies for maintaining problems’ richness and student lens) • Teaching of videotaped lesson • Sharing meetings • Total of 45 face-to-face hours – 7 pull-out days (42 hours) distributed during the year – 3 sharing meetings (3 hours) 4

Research Questions • Does the PD program impact teacher knowledge? • Does the PD Research Questions • Does the PD program impact teacher knowledge? • Does the PD program impact teaching practices? • Does the PD program impact student learning? 5

Sample • Predominantly low-income district in Los Angeles • 5 Title-1 middle schools • Sample • Predominantly low-income district in Los Angeles • 5 Title-1 middle schools • All 6 th-grade teachers (=71); PD program made mandatory by the district • All 6 th-grade students (approx 4400 in 137 classes) • Student population: 73. 6% Latino and 25. 9% African American; 40% are English learners • 6. 2% of students are mathematics proficient (as measured by state tests in 2004) 6

Design Year 1 Random assignment within schools and tracks: Treatment and notreatment group Year Design Year 1 Random assignment within schools and tracks: Treatment and notreatment group Year 2 All teachers participated in PD program (1 year vs 2 years of PD) 7

Key Measures - Teachers • Content and pedagogical content knowledge – Multiple-choice survey: Items Key Measures - Teachers • Content and pedagogical content knowledge – Multiple-choice survey: Items from Study of Instructional Improvement (Ball & Hill, University of Michigan); California Professional Development Institutes (MPDI - UC office of the president); and developed in-house – Administered at 3 points in time; 2 equivalent forms • Video Analysis Assessment Administered prior and at the end of Year 2 • Compliance Ratings 8

Key Measures – Teaching Practices • Videotapes of lessons including a rich problem – Key Measures – Teaching Practices • Videotapes of lessons including a rich problem – 3 points in time • Fieldnotes from classroom observations 9

Key Measures - Students • State standardized tests • Subset of district quarterly assessment Key Measures - Students • State standardized tests • Subset of district quarterly assessment items targeting key content areas • In-house student performance assessment items 10

Challenges and Possible Solutions • Challenges to Experimental Design – Students are moved from Challenges and Possible Solutions • Challenges to Experimental Design – Students are moved from one class to another on the basis of their performance on English language proficiency test • Challenges to program success – Role of math coaches – Contrasting messages on focus of instruction Ø Build infrastructure at the school level 11

 • Challenges to validity of measures – Content and PCK survey is time • Challenges to validity of measures – Content and PCK survey is time consuming and exposes teachers’ lack of knowledge Ø Video-based, embedded measures of teacher knowledge • Teacher Compliance – 6/28 teachers in Year 1 and 5/38 teachers in Year 2 were rated as fully compliant Ø Design PD programs that build on teachers’ perceived needs 12

Conclusions • Conducting experimental research in schools (particularly in disadvantaged schools) is time consuming Conclusions • Conducting experimental research in schools (particularly in disadvantaged schools) is time consuming and difficult • Underprivileged schools need our attention • Partnerships between researchers and schools are extremely valuable 13