Math for All: Assessing the Efficacy of a Professional Development Program for Elementary School Teachers
2014 - 2016

Education Development Center, Inc.'s Center for Children and Technology (EDC|CCT), in collaboration with Bank Street College of Education, ICF, Indiana University, and Teachers College, Columbia University, is conducting a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of the Math for All (MFA) professional development (PD) program. MFA is a PD program that was developed by EDC|CCT and Bank Street College of Education, with funding from the National Science Foundation. The program has been tested and shown to have promise of positively affecting teachers' classroom practice and students' learning. MFA prepares grade K–5 teachers to help students with diverse strengths and needs—including those with disabilities—who are being served in general education classrooms achieve high-quality, standards-based learning outcomes in mathematics. This study is designed to investigate the impact of the MFA PD on teachers’ knowledge, skill, and classroom practice, and on student academic achievement in mathematics.

The study will be carried out with a sample of fourth- and fifth-grade teachers and students from Chicago public schools. Schools will be randomly assigned to the treatment or control condition. Teachers in the intervention group will participate in the MFA PD, which consists of five one-day workshops and classroom-based assignments, providing a total of 50 hours of PD over one school year. The program uses video cases and a lesson-study approach to engage general and special education teachers in collaborative lesson planning to make standards-based mathematics lessons accessible to various kinds of learners. The comparison condition group will experience business-as-usual PD offered through the school district, such as PD on the implementation of mathematics curricula.The study will employ an RCT design and will assess teacher and student performance both at baseline and after completion of the PD to assess the impacts of MFA.