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IES Grant

Title: Exploring Elementary Teachers' Feelings, Beliefs, and Effectiveness across Mathematics, Science, and Literacy
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: McLean, Leigh Awardee: Arizona State University
Program: Effective Instruction      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/01/2018–06/30/2022) Award Amount: $1,397,873
Type: Exploration Award Number: R305A180086
Description:

Co-Principal Investigator: Fabes, Richard A.

Purpose: Teachers are responsible for making decisions and taking actions that determine students' classroom experiences. Much of the research on teacher effectiveness has focused on teachers' pedagogical and content knowledge. However, findings from recent evaluations indicate improvement in teacher knowledge generally does not translate to improved student outcomes and suggest that other important elements — such as feelings and beliefs — can play a powerful role in professional performance. In this study, researchers will explore teachers' feelings/beliefs (enjoyment, anxiety, self-efficacy) toward core content areas as factors that impact their content area specific effectiveness. Researchers will also explore two mechanisms (students' feelings and learning behaviors; teachers' instructional practices) through which these relations might operate.

Project Activities: Researchers will use a multimethod, multi-informant, sequential-cohort design with three time points per cohort: late summer/early fall (Time 1), winter (Time 2), and spring (Time 3). The team will gather data using a direct assessments, video observation, and teacher/parent reports. Student/teacher demographics and characteristics will be reported at Time 1. Teacher feelings/beliefs, student feelings and learning behaviors, and video data will be collected at Times 1 and 2. Statewide student achievement data will be provided by schools at Time 3 for the current and previous years.

Products: Researchers will produce preliminary evidence of potentially promising practices. They will share this evidence in peer-reviewed publications, presentations at school district meetings, postings on their website, and on social media sites focused on early academic, social, and emotional development.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Data will be collected in 10 urban/suburban school districts in Arizona. Among elementary schools in these districts, 51% implement Title 1 school-wide programs, and student eligibility for free- and reduced- priced lunch ranges from 4% to 95%.

Sample: The sample will consist of approximately 3,000 fourth grade students and their teachers from 150 classrooms in three sequential cohorts.

Malleable Factors: This project will focus on the following malleable factors: teachers' feelings/beliefs toward math, science, and literacy; students' feelings and learning behaviors, and teachers' instructional practices.

Research Design and Methods: Researchers will utilize a multimethod, multi-informant, sequential-cohort design with three time points per cohort: late summer/early fall (Time 1), winter (Time 2), and spring (Time 3). Data collection will involve a combination of direct assessments, video observation, and teacher/parent reports. Student/teacher demographics and characteristics will be reported at Time 1. The research team will collect video, teacher feelings/beliefs, and student feelings and learning behaviors data at Times 1 and 2. Schools will provide statewide student achievement data at Time 3 for the current and previous years.

Control Condition: Due to the exploratory nature of the research design, there is no control condition.

Key Measures: Researchers will assess student academic achievement using the AZMerit Statewide Math Test, AIMS Science Statewide Science Test, and AZMerit Statewide English/Language Arts Test. Researchers will assess teacher content area-specific enjoyment and anxiety using the Teacher Emotions Scale adapted for each content-area. In addition, they will assess teacher content area-specific self-efficacy using the Math/Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument adapted for literacy. The research team will assess student content area-specific enjoyment and anxiety using the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire: Enjoyment and Anxiety subscales adapted for math, science and literacy. Student content area-specific engagement and disaffection will be assessed using the Engagement vs. Disaffection with Learning Scale: Engagement and Disaffection subscales adapted for math, science, and literacy. Student self-efficacy in specific content areas will be assessed using the Student Report of Academic Self-Efficacy Scale. Teacher instructional practices will be assessed using the Teacher Intentionality of Practice Scale (TIPS) and Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol (EQUIP).

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use a multilevel path analysis framework to examine direct, mediated, and moderated effects of Time 1 teacher feelings/beliefs on Time 3 student academic outcomes. All statistical models will control for students' initial academic achievement and other relevant covariates.


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