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Eric.ed.gov – Focusing on Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Professional Development. Study Snapshot. NCEE 2016-4011

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Recent results from national and international assessments continue to show a need for improvement in math achievement among U.S. students. For example, 60 per-cent of grade 4 students scored below the proficient level on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress. In an era of increasingly rigorous state standards, teachers at all grade levels face heightened expectations to deepen their students’ understanding of math concepts. Teachers may benefit from professional development (PD) that strengthens their own conceptual understanding of math, particularly elementary school teachers who are less likely to formally study math in college than secondary teachers are. To date, there is limited convincing evidence on the effectiveness of intensive, content-focused PD, a gap this study intended to address. This study examined the implementation and impact of a 93-hour PD program that focused on deepening teachers’ general math knowledge but also covered some math knowledge relevant to teaching. 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 math. Two additional PD components, “Mathematics Learning Community” and “Video Feedback Cycles” totaling 13 hours were delivered during the 2013-14 school year to reinforce the math content in Intel Math and help teachers apply the content to improve their instruction. Results of the study revealed that despite the PD’s positive impact on some teacher outcomes, the PD did not have a positive impact on student achievement. On average, treatment teachers’ students scored 2 percentile points lower than control teachers’ students on both spring 2014 student achievement measures (see Figure 3). The difference between treatment and control group students was statistically significant for the state math assessment but not the study-administered assessment. This may be partially explained by the finding that math content knowledge and instructional practice, as measured in this study, were generally not correlated with student math achievement. [To access the full report in ERIC “Focusing on Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Teacher Professional Development. NCEE 2016-4010,” see ED569154. To view “Focusing on Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Teacher Professional Development. Executive Summary. NCEE 2016-4009,” see ED569155.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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