Evaluating the Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) Teacher Professional Development Program is a 3.5 year efficacy study of a well-known, commercially available math teacher professional development (PD) curriculum. The study uses experimental and quasi-experimental methods to ask, How does elementary teacher participation in DMI affect teacher knowledge, teaching practice, and student learning?
The project works with about 195 public school teachers and their students in several urban and suburban school districts in Massachusetts. Volunteer teachers are randomly assigned either to PD with DMI in the first year of the efficacy study, or as a control/ comparison group who will wait till the second year of the study to receive DMI PD. Both groups of teachers will be followed through two academic years, gathering evidence about teacher knowledge, teaching practice, and student achievement. There are multiple measures of each construct, including video-analysis of teacher practice, and a new video-based measure of teacher knowledge. Analyses use OLS regression, hierarchical modeling, and structural equation modeling, as appropriate, to compare the two groups and to track changes over time.
In this way, the project provides rigorous evidence testing the efficacy of this reform-oriented professional development program, and explores several aspects of a conceptual framework hypothesizing relationships among PD, teacher mathematical and pedagogical knowledge, classroom teaching practice focusing on promoting rich mathematical discourse so students can make sense of math, and student outcomes.