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Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Summary of Research on the Effectiveness of Math Professional Development Approaches

The study identified and screened 910 research studies in a comprehensive literature search for effectiveness studies of math professional development approaches. Of these 910 studies, 643 examined professional development approaches related to math in grades K–12 and were conducted in the United States. Of the 643 studies, 32 focused primarily on math professional development provided to teachers and used a research design for examining effectiveness. Five of those were determined to have met WWC evidence standards (version 2.1) either with or without reservations. And of those five, only two found positive effects on students' math proficiency. Thus, there is very limited causal evidence to guide districts and schools in selecting a math professional development approach or to support developers' claims about their approaches.
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