October 1, 2001
From June 2000 to June 2001, CCT conducted the first year of a three-year evaluation of Intel Corporation's Teach to the Future professional development initiative. The initiative seeks to boost technology integration in K-12 classrooms and to improve education in mathematics and the sciences. To achieve these results and make meaningful improvements at the classroom level for teachers across the country teaching in widely varying circumstances, Intel Teach to the Future employs a highly structured delivery model--a train-the-trainer approach--as well as an extensively piloted, well-designed curriculum. This evaluation presented CCT with a rare opportunity to examine closely a diverse population of teachers and administrators as they experienced and implemented this ambitious, large-scale professional development program.
To evaluate the program's success in meeting its goals, we paid careful attention to three topics in the first year of this evaluation: teachers' responses to the training; initial evidence of the impact of the program; and the efficacy of the implementation model. The second year of this evaluation will examine the impact of program participation on the classroom, examining changes in teachers' curricula and teaching strategies and their impact on students' math and science learning. (The second year evaluation report should be finished by the end of Summer 2002.)
CCT asked Intel Teach to the Future participants to fill out end-of-training surveys. A total of 8,008 teachers completed these surveys. Of those who responded, math specialists and science specialists represented 7.7 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, while generalists who teach some math and science comprised 27 percent of the total. Teachers teaching grades K-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12 made up 48 percent, 25 percent and 27 percent respectively of the total number of respondents.
Overall, teachers responded positively to the initiative.
- 97 percent reported that the ideas and skills they learned through the program would help them successfully integrate technology into their students' activities.
- 94 percent said that they would "definitely" recommend the Intel Teach to the Future training to a friend or colleague.
- 91percent reported that after completing their training, they felt "well prepared" to integrate educational technology into the grade or subject they teach.
Initial evidence of program impact
51percent of survey respondents reported that they had implemented the unit plan they developed in their Intel Teach to the Future training. Over 75 percent of those who had not implemented their unit plan expected to do so in the next school year. Teachers who had implemented their unit plans felt very strongly that their unit had been effective in helping them to meet their learning goals for their students. Specifically:
- 99 percent reported that students were "motivated and involved in the lesson."
- 89 percent reported that "student projects were more creative" than other, comparable work.
- 80 percent reported that "student projects showed more in-depth understanding" than other, comparable work.
Efficacy of the implementation model
Truly effective implementation of Intel Teach to the Future depends on the capacity and willingness of districts to appropriate the program's structures and goals and to match them with local priorities for technology use, and existing plans for professional development and hardware allocation.
Based on our findings, we recommend:
- Continue to emphasize Intel Teach to the Future as a transitional training that invites teachers to begin the process of becoming fluent, frequent users of technology as an integral part of their teaching.
- Create, or partner with other organizations to provide, follow-up trainings that focus on more discipline-specific applications of technology, particularly math and science applications, but offer more leeway in designing additional curricular material.
- Disseminate exemplary district practices for implementing and integrating Intel Teach to the Future to personnel from other districts attempting to start or improve the program.
- Identify and invest in successful Master Teachers, in collaboration with their school districts, because these teachers, who often mentor other teachers, can be powerful change agents at the district level.