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CHAPTER 2TEACHING PRACTICES IN MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE
The primary goal of the Eisenhower Professional Development Program is to supportprofessional development experiences for teachers that will enhance classroom teaching and,ultimately, improve student learning. Because improved teaching is critical to improved learning forstudents, it is a cornerstone of the standards movement. Therefore, this report begins by focusing onclassroom teaching practice.The purpose of this chapter is to lay a foundation for our evaluation of the Eisenhowerprogram, by reviewing the current literature on teaching and learning in mathematics and science andby describing classroom teaching practices in the 30 in-depth case study schools. By drawing on theliterature and data on the 30 case schools, we will characterize the strengths and weaknesses of current teaching practices in mathematics and science and identify areas in which further professionaldevelopment should focus.The data on classroom practice that we will report come from two sources: the baseline yearof our three-year longitudinal survey of teacher change and classroom observations. In a subsequentreport, we will use the second and third waves of the longitudinal survey, along with the datareported here, to examine the effects of participation in professional development on changes overtime in teaching practice. The data we report in this chapter are thus the first step in our examinationof the effect of Eisenhower-assisted activities on teaching practice. Exhibit 2.0 shows how thematerial covered in this chapter fits into the entire framework of the evaluation.
EXHIBIT 2.0Conceptual Framework for This Evaluation
Context for Eisenhower-assisted Activities(District Size and Poverty; SAHE-grantee Features)
District and SAHE-grantee Management
of Eisenhower-assistedActivities
Building a Vision
:Alignment andCoordination
Implementation:
Continuous Improvementand Planning* * * *
Source:
National Profile(District Coordinator andSAHE-grantee Interviews)and Case Studies
District and SAHE-grantee “Portfolios”
of Eisenhower-assistedProfessional DevelopmentActivities
Portfolio FeaturesTeacher Recruitmentand Selection
* * * *
Source:
National Profile(District Coordinator andSAHE-grantee Interviews)and Case Studies
Teacher Experiences
inEisenhower-assistedProfessional Development* * * *
Source:
National Profile(Teacher Activity Survey)and Case Studies
Teaching Practice
* * * *
Source:
LongitudinalStudy of TeacherChange and Case Studies
 
Teaching Practice
* * * *
Source:
LongitudinalStudy of TeacherChange and Case StudiesChapter 5 (District)Chapter 4 (District)Chapter 3Chapter 2Chapter 6 (SAHE Grantee)Chapter 6 (SAHE Grantee)
Archived Information
 
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Data Sources
This chapter draws on two sources of data collected for the Longitudinal Study of TeacherChange: 1) a baseline survey of teachers in 30 schools and 2) observations of classes for a sample of teachers (two per school) who completed the surveys.
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In addition, we conducted a content analysisof the National Assessment of Educational Progress, in order to compare the content of instructionthat teachers reported in the survey to a national standards for content. In the paragraphs below, wedescribe each of these sources in turn.
Baseline Wave of the Longitudinal Teacher Survey
To gather data on teachers’ classroom teaching practices, we surveyed all teachers who teachmathematics or science in the 30 schools—one elementary, one middle, and one high school in eachof the 10 in-depth case study districts. The baseline wave of the survey, which was conducted in thefall of 1997, asked teachers to describe their teaching during the 1996-97 year.
2
In the survey, weasked teachers to select a year-long mathematics or science course to describe. We asked them tochoose, if possible, a course they had taught in 1996-97, were continuing to teach in 1997-98, andexpected to teach in 1998-99.The survey contained two main sections concerning teaching practices in the selected course,one on the content taught and one on pedagogy. We discuss these two sections further when wepresent our results, in subsequent sections of the chapter.Of the 575 teachers surveyed in the 30 in-depth case schools, 436 teachers (76 percent)responded.
3
Some teachers who responded did not teach mathematics or science during the 1996-97school year, either because they were not employed as teachers in 1996-97 or because they taughtother subjects, and thus they are not included in the analyses of classroom teaching. In addition, weexcluded some teachers from particular analyses because they did not complete all of the requireditems. The sample is 74 percent female and 18 percent minority. Six percent of the teachers in thesample are novice teachers, or teachers who have taught the surveyed subject for two or fewer years.(See Appendix C for a more complete description of the sample and response rates.)Several features of the sample should be considered in interpreting our results. First, bydesign, the sample of 30 schools is disproportionately high poverty (50 percent of the sample schoolsare high poverty, compared to the national average of 25 percent). This feature of the sample isuseful in an evaluation of the Eisenhower program, because the program targets teachers in high-poverty schools. Throughout the analyses, we tested whether differences between teachers in high-and low-poverty schools are statistically significant (at the .05 level); we note these findings onlywhen they are significant. Second, we selected the districts and schools in the sample because theyhad adopted diverse approaches to professional development, in addition to traditional workshops
 
1
The other source of teacher-level data collected as part of this evaluation is the teacher activity survey discussed inChapter 3. In the activity survey, teachers are asked to describe how professional development has changed theirinstruction. The Longitudinal Study of Teacher Change, on the other hand, will analyze changes in instruction overtime to determine the impact of professional development on instruction. Because Longitudinal Study teachers arenot judging the impact of professional development themselves, the study minimizes self-report bias.
2
The remaining two waves ask teachers to describe their teaching in the 1997-98 and 1998-99 years.
3
The response rate of high school teachers was higher than those of elementary and middle school teachers, in partbecause principals and department chairs in high school were more involved in administering the survey.
 
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and conferences. If such professional development is more effective than traditional approaches,then the teachers’ instruction in the sample schools might be better than that of the average teacher.Finally, the Longitudinal Study of Teacher Change focuses on mathematics and science teachersbecause they are the primary participants in Eisenhower-assisted activities. For all of these reasons,the sample is not nationally representative, but neither is it extremely unusual.
Classroom Observations
As part of our site visits to the 30 in-depth case study schools, we conducted one-timeclassroom observations of two teachers in each school—usually one mathematics teacher and onescience teacher. In conjunction with the observations, we conducted a brief pre-observationinterview and a somewhat longer post-observation interview with each of the 60 teachers weobserved. The teachers we observed were selected by the principals of the schools we visited, in partbased on their availability at the time of our visit and willingness to be observed; participation inprofessional development was not a factor in selecting teachers to observe. Thus, the teachers weobserved are not necessarily representative of all teachers in the study schools.We conducted the observations using a structured protocol, designed in part to parallel ourteacher survey instrument. Prior to conducting the observations, we conducted a training session inwhich our site visitors observed videotaped lessons and coded them using our observation protocol.This allowed the site visitors to develop a common understanding of the protocol and to check inter-rater reliability.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
To report on the consistency of the content taught with high standards, we needed to identifyan appropriate measure of high standards. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics(NCTM) and National Research Council (NRC) standards set a framework for importantmathematics and science concepts that should be taught in the classroom. However, these standardsare at a level of generality that makes quantitive content analysis difficult; therefore, we look to theNational Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to make explicit the content focus of thestandards. The NAEP provides items that reflect this framework and permit content analyses itemsto determine relative emphases for mathematics and science content. In order to develop a test thatwould be perceived as national, the National Center for Education Statistics has modeled the NAEPon the professional associations' standards (Reese et al., 1997). For example, 30 percent of thescience assessment involves hands-on performance exercises and 50 percent involves open-endedquestions (NAGB, 1997); these also are areas of emphasis for the standards. The high standards setby the test are evident in the scores reported for the 1996 science assessment; only three percent of students tested at the advanced level and 21 to 29 percent tested at or above the proficient level(Raizen, 1998). As "the nation's report card," the NAEP represents an appropriate standard, althoughadmittedly not the only possible standard. Because the NAEP focuses on content and performancegoals consistent with standards developed by national professional associations, and because the

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