Recruitment is underway.
September 2016 – July 2022
Mathematica Policy Research
Decision Information Resources
Research has consistently found that novice teachers perform at a level substantially lower than their more experienced colleagues. In addition, although teachers' effectiveness typically improves with experience, there is substantial variation in teacher effectiveness at a given experience level. However, there is too little evidence about which teaching experiences and practices are most likely to improve teachers' effectiveness, particularly early in their career. Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides funding to improve the quality and effectiveness of educators. High-quality, personalized professional development that is evidence-based is one of the allowable uses of these funds.
This study, designed to inform the effectiveness of individualized coaching for teachers at various stages in their career, has the potential to inform teacher preparation and professional development practice more generally. The evaluation will provide individualized coaching to teachers of various experience levels based on videos of their classroom practices. Several recent small-scale studies suggest that individualized teacher supports may be an effective strategy for improving teachers' instruction and their students' achievement.
The study team will recruit approximately 400 fourth or fifth grade teachers from 10-12 districts across the country to participate in the study.
In 2018–19, schools will be randomly assigned to receive either: (1) 8 rounds of written feedback plus one-on-one coaching for teachers in grade 4 or 5, or (2) 5 rounds of written feedback plus one-on-one coaching, or (3) the district's usual supports and professional development. Teachstone was competitively selected as the provider for this study, and their staff will provide the coaching. Coaching, based on individual teacher needs, will focus on foundational teaching practices such as classroom management and time use as well as more advanced classroom practices such as ways to lead discussions that build a deeper understanding of academic content.
Data collection includes: information on fidelity of implementation of the coaching and feedback; a teacher survey focusing on teacher preparation and professional development experiences; measures of classroom practices based on pre- and post-treatment classroom videos; and state math and English language arts assessment data for school years 2016–17 to 2018–19 and possibly 2019–20.
Key findings will be available after the study report is published.
The report for the study, which will examine the impact of the intervention for teachers, is expected in 2021 and will be announced on http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.