The purpose of the Institute's Teacher Quality Research (Teacher Quality) program is to identify effective strategies for improving the performance of current teachers and other instructional personnel in ways that increase reading, writing, language, mathematics, science, or secondary transitional outcomes for students with disabilities from kindergarten through Grade 12. The Institute intends for the Teacher Quality research program to fulfill five goals: (1) exploring the relations between malleable factors1 (e.g., practices of teachers and other instructional personnel; professional development experiences) and student outcomes, as well as mediators or moderators of the relations between these factors and student outcomes, for the purpose of identifying potential targets of intervention; (2) developing innovative programs and practices for professional development of teachers and/or other instructional personnel that are intended to improve instructional practices and through them student outcomes; (3) evaluating the efficacy of fully-developed programs and practices for professional development of teachers and/or other instructional personnel; (4) evaluating the effectiveness of programs and practices for professional development of teachers and/or other instructional personnel that are implemented at scale and intended for improving instructional practices and through them student outcomes; and (5) developing and validating new assessments of teacher quality for current classroom teachers or other instructional personnel, or validating existing assessments for teachers or other instructional personnel at any grade level from kindergarten through grade 12 against measures of student outcomes.
Long-term outcomes of the Teacher Quality program will be an array of tools and strategies (e.g., in-service programs, teacher supports, assessments) that have been demonstrated to be effective for improving and assessing performance of teachers and other instructional personnel in ways that are linked to improvements in student outcomes.
By "professional development," the Institute refers to in-service training and supports (e.g., information resources) for current personnel. By "teachers and other instructional personnel," the Institute refers to special education teachers, general education teachers, paraprofessionals, teacher consultants and specialists, and other personnel involved in the instruction of students with disabilities. Personnel involved in providing related services are not included under the Teacher Quality topic but can be included under the Related Services research topic.