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IES Grant

Title: Algebra Connections: Teacher Education in Clear Instruction and Responsive Assessment of Algebra Patterns and Problem Solving
Center: NCER Year: 2004
Principal Investigator: Radner, Barbara Awardee: DePaul University
Program: Teaching, Teachers, and the Education Workforce      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,052,822
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305M040127

Purpose: At the time of this project in the United States, student proficiency in algebra was very low, particularly among low-income, Black, and Hispanic students. One approach to improving math performance, including algebra, was to improve teacher preparation. In this project, the researchers proposed to develop a working model of teacher professional development that improved math learning among middle school students at risk for not meeting national standards in mathematics. The researchers aimed to address middle school algebra, which they found was sometimes taught by teachers who had not completed the requisite course work or been adequately trained to assess and respond to student learning progress in mathematics.

They proposed a professional development program that in-service teachers would complete. It would include three graduate courses in algebra and one course in responsive assessment of mathematics learning and weekly in-school support.

Structured Abstract


Research Design and Methods: Teachers in 12 to 14 Chicago public schools will participate in this study. All will teach middle school students at neighborhood schools that serve primarily African-American or Latino students from low-income communities. Teachers in five schools will participate in the year-long professional development program. Teachers in four schools will receive materials for use in assessing student math proficiency but will not participate in the treatment during the first two program phases (a treated comparison group). A no-treatment comparison group will include teachers working at schools with matching demographics to the treatment schools.

Teachers' knowledge about algebra and their lesson plans will be evaluated prior to and after the intervention in order to examine change in knowledge and practice. Analysis of student achievement data will be conducted to compare performance of students in classrooms of treatment, experimental control, and no-treatment comparison group teachers. A content analysis of student-written explanations of problem solutions will be conducted to compare students' knowledge of problem-solving strategies.

Products and Publications

ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Project Website:

** This project was submitted to and funded under Teacher Quality: Mathematics and Science Education in FY 2004.