MTP-Team: A Scalable, Web-Supported Peer-Learning Program for Implementing the My Teaching Partner-Secondary Approach
Co-Principal Investigators: Joseph Allen, Robert Pianta, Julia Cohen
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop and document the feasibility and potential promise of an intervention that applies the principles of the highly successful My Teaching Partner-Secondary one-on-one coaching approach to a far more scalable, replicable, and school-system-friendly team-learning model by incorporating a powerful core approach to enhancing teacher quality and student outcomes into the Professional Learning Community (PLC) structure currently embedded in many school districts. This program would not require additional time from participating teachers, but rather would enable them to make more effective use of the time they are already spending in PLCs.
Project Activities: The team will iteratively develop and test the feasibility of implementing the My Teaching Team (MTT) intervention. MTT places teachers in an active learning role, provides specific, empirically supported content tailored to everyday practice, incorporates sustained follow-up across the school year, and maximizes relevance to each specific school context. Following a series of development-focused iterations of the implementation of the intervention, the team will carry out a randomized controlled trial to implement the final Pilot Study, supplemented by qualitative measures and assessments of intervention fidelity, usability, and feasibility within the treatment condition.
Products: Researchers will produce a fully developed intervention, My Teaching Team (MTT), which can be used with secondary teachers and instructional teams. MTT includes Facilitator training materials, multimedia mini-lessons, video library clips with accompanying online prompts and assignments, and an intervention manual. The team will also produce peer-reviewed publications.
Setting: The project will take place in middle and high schools in eastern Virginia.
Sample: Study participants will include 100 secondary school teachers serving approximately 1500 students in seventh through twelfth grades. Teachers are expected to be approximately 74% White, and 26% from racial ethnic minority groups. The students will be from 7th through 12th grade with ages ranging from 12 to 17. The anticipated study sample, based on regional estimates, will be approximately 50% White, 24% African American, 11% Latino, and 6% Asian-American students.
Intervention: The My Teaching Team (MTT) intervention will incorporate the best of both the My Teaching Partner-Secondary approach and the Professional Learning Communities approach. MTT will use a group model that supports positive and productive group dynamics, places teachers in an active learning role, provides specific, empirically supported content tailored to everyday practice, incorporates sustained follow-up across the school year, and maximizes relevance to each specific school context.
Research Design and Methods: Researchers will carry out a series of development-focused iterations of the implementation of MTT, relying on feedback from participating teachers and administrators. During each iteration, the team will complete a five-phase process of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. The team will complete the initial iteration in year 1, and a second iteration of a refined version of MTT in year 2 with a larger group of teachers. In the final year of the project, the team will use a randomized controlled trial to test the promise of the intervention, supplemented by qualitative measures and assessments of intervention fidelity, usability, and feasibility within the treatment condition. Existing teacher learning teams of 4-5 teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment or control condition.
Control Condition: Teachers randomly assigned to the control group teachers have not previously participated in MTT will maintain a business-as-usual approach.
Key Measures: The team will gather information about the usability and feasibility of MTT via teacher surveys, interviews with teachers, coaches, and administrative staff, observations, and web-collected data. Researchers will evaluate fidelity via the CLASS-S, which will assess teacher actual use of various components of the intervention. They will assess changes in teacher knowledge, quality of teacher student interactions, student engagement, and student achievement outcomes. The team will assess student achievement outcomes via performance on end-of-course standardized state achievement tests. Finally, they will obtain cost estimates for the intervention (in terms of time and fiscal costs).
Data Analytic Strategy: The team will rely on triangulation, respondent validation, and fair dealing to analyze the qualitative information collected during the development phases. They will use descriptive statistics to assess usability, feasibility, fidelity, and cost. Researchers will use hierarchical linear modeling to assess outcomes at both the student and classroom levels. They will include relevant demographic controls and consider potential moderator effects, and will account for student performance on prior year end-of-course standardized state achievement tests.
Related IES Projects: Increasing Adolescent Engagement, Motivation, and Achievement: Efficacy of a Web-Based, Teacher Professional Development Model (R305A100367)
Project Website: http://curry.virginia.edu/research/centers/castl/