Beginning Elementary Teachers Enacting Ambitious Math Instruction in the Current Evaluation Climate

Project team, 2016
From left: Kenneth Frank (PI), Kristen Bieda (co-PI), Nicole Ellefson, Kaitlin Obenauf, Adrienne Hu, Sarah Galey,
Xueying Ji, Aaron Zimmerman, Jihyun Kim, Shannon Sweeney. On the screen, from top: Peter Youngs (co-PI),
Serena Salloum (co-PI), John Lane

Study of Elementary Mathematics Instruction (SEMI)
Principal Investigators: Kenneth Frank (PI), Kristen Bieda (co-PI), Peter Youngs (co-PI), Serena Salloum (co-PI)
Graduate Students: Sarah Galey (CEPSE), Adrienne Hu (PRIME), Jihyun Kim (TE), John Lane (TE), Kaitlin Obernauf (CEPSE), Xueying Ji (TE), Aaron Zimmerman (TE), Leo Medel (PRIME), Amanda Opperman (PRIME)
Post-Doc: Shannon Sweeney
Project Manager: Nicole Ellefson
Funding: William T. Grant Foundation and the NSF REAL program
Dates: July 2014 – June 2017

The project will examine how novice teachers’ school-based colleagues influence their lesson planning and math instruction. We hypothesize that new teachers may turn to colleagues to discuss content, interpret expectations about lesson planning, and/or understand how the demands of the evaluation system translate to practice. Thus, knowledge of math and norms regarding instruction in a new teacher’s network may impact the quality of the novice’s practice.

This study will collect both qualitative and quantitative data at multiple time points to document the role of in-school networks as new teachers adapt to their first few years of teaching. Eight raters will conduct observations of all novice teachers twice a year for two years. Investigators will also collect teachers’ lesson plans, one significant math task used during the lesson, and student work samples related to the math task as a supplement to the observations. Teachers, administrators, math coaches, and mentors will be surveyed. A subset of these participants will also be interviewed.