Teacher Quality

Evidence of the LSC's impact on the content taught in mathematics/science classes emerged in the analysis of classroom observation data (Bowes & Banilower, 2004). Teacher participation in LSC professional development was positively correlated with evaluator ratings of the quality of mathematics/science content in observed lessons. Evaluators cited evidence of teachers' growth in content knowledge over time and with participation in LSC professional development.

Related findings indicate that, as a result of participation in LSC professional development:

  • teachers used more investigative practices, high quality questioning and sense-making of content in lessons;
  • the amount of time spent on science instruction at the elementary level increased;
  • teachers were more likely to use the designated instructional materials; and
  • impacts on teachers and teaching were evident after approximately 30 hours of professional development.
  • Challenges

    LSC findings also have implications for teacher preparation in mathematics and science. Classroom observation made it clear that modeling effective practices for teachers in professional development was not sufficient; there is an apparent need to address issues of conceptual development more explicitly. Focusing on key aspects of what it means to teach for understanding will help current and prospective teachers see how instructional activities are tied to learning goals, and understand how a sequence of activities can be implemented to build student understanding of content in mathematics and science.

    The LSC Capstone Report: Lessons from a Decade of Mathematics and Science Reform
    (PDF) [354 KB]