- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1136428
- First Name Nicole
- Last Name Wickler
- Discipline Mathematics, Middle School/Middle Grades, Science
Paul M. Beardsley, CPP, firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Page, CPP, email@example.com
Laurie J. Riggs, CPP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Homeyra Sadaghiani, CPP, email@example.com
Nicole Wickler, CPP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Eddy, Cobblestone Research and Evaluation, Inc., email@example.com
Multiple studies show that teacher quality, including teacher educational background, participation in professional development activities, and certification, has a significant effect on student performance (Alvarez, 2008; Borman & Kimball, 2005; Hattie, 2009; Haycock, 1998; McCaffrey et al., 2003; Nye et al., 2004; OECD, 2005; Timperley & Alton-Lee, 2008). To address this issue locally, Cal Poly Pomona’s Robert Noyce Master Teacher Fellows (MTF) Program was developed to improve overall teacher quality by supporting middle school science and/or math teachers in high-needs school across two local school districts. In addition, the MTF program supported teachers’ deepening of content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and leadership growth in order to facilitate sustainable practices at the school and/or district level.
Overall, the goal of the MTF Program was to increase the quantity and quality of mathematics and science teachers in high-need schools. The MTF program provided support and training to mathematics and science teachers who aspired to improve their current practice. These goals were accomplished by three main program activities which included: project meetings; PD institutes offered during the summer; and follow-up sessions offered during the school year. Project meetings provided MTFs with additional direction for other program activities and to check in with participants in general. In addition, The PD summer institutes provided MTFs with strategies to become more effective at science and/or math teaching using the program’s conceptual framework for analyzing and improving science and math teaching. Finally, each of the four groups held four to five follow-up meetings during each school year, which built on the PD summer institutes.
The goal of the MTF Program was to challenge MTFs’ focus on the activities in science and math lessons, and shift their attention to a coherent series of lessons that link content with activities and pupil thinking about science and math content. Overall, the program achieved its goals by providing teachers support to coordinate the varied aspects that teaching requires and provide a more meaningful and integrated context. Specifically, the program’s conceptual framework represented teaching through two lenses, content storyline and student thinking.
Multiple methods are used to assess key outcomes including: a longitudinal survey assessing teaching efficacy, professional development, leadership, and professional progress; a longitudinal content assessment measuring content knowledge and knowledge types; a pre and post video-based lesson analysis task to measure MTFs’ abilities to analyze teaching practices; and a case study analysis of selected MTFs.
At this time, only pre- and mid-cycle testing has occurred. However, preliminary results from pre- and mid-cycle comparisons have shown statistically significant gains in MTFs reported transformational leadership and specific content areas. The MTFs overall showed improvements in scores from pretest to the mid-cycle assessment in most assessment categories.
Key deliverables were funder required and annual evaluation reports. The external evaluators, Cobblestone, submitted the Year 5 annual report in June 2016. Cobblestone will also submit a final evaluation report following the no cost extension year (2016-2017).
Participating MTFs collaboratively planned dates and will meet with their group and group facilitator during summer 2016. MTFs will meet for a minimum of five days and with their group facilitator for a minimum of five days. All posttest surveys are currently scheduled to occur by the end of August 2016.
This question is difficult to answer at this time as final assessments are in the process of being coded and scored. However, the case study analysis is especially important to answer this question. Case studies were conducted with eight exemplary MTFs, two from each grade-specific content group. The purpose of the case studies was to assess the sphere of influence that MTFs have in their schools and districts. However, preliminary results from the case study analysis suggest MTFs have grown in their confidence overall since starting the program. MTFs specifically mentioned a growth in presentation and communication skills. Further, MTFs reporting holding multiple leadership responsibilities at their school site and/or district. MTFs’ leadership responsibilities included involvement in district-wide activities such as a Teacher on Assignment position or involvement in a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) committee. Some specifically noted their increased leadership responsibilities were influenced by their increased confidence gained through the program.