Research Roundup

Lots of interesting research findings to share… thanks to Education Week’s excellent blogging and reporting.

  • Algebra achievement and technology:  An IES funded four-year study found that Algebra I teachers who were trained in and used a program that allowed them to monitor their students’ progress on graphing calculators led to improved algebra achievement.  Given that it was an IES funded study, a quasi-experimental design was utilized.  I thought this finding was particularly interesting:  “Through qualitative analysis, researchers also found that teachers using the technology engaged in deeper and more conceptual discussions with their students about math principals than teachers who were not using the technology.”  Check out Digital Education’s blog post summarizing the findings with links to more info.
  • Online Teacher PD makes a Difference:  The e-Learning for Educators (efe) Project, a ten-state initiative dedicated to expanding a state’s ability to deliver high-quality online PD, conducted four randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effects of online PD on teachers’ knowledge and instructional practices and on students’ knowledge and practices.  Teachers who participated in the online PD improved their content area knowledge and instructional practices which ultimately led to increased student achievement.  The teachers participated in three 30-hour online PD courses developed by the Education Development Center’s EdTech Leaders Online, or ETLO.   Check out the executive summary
  • K-8 Model Holds More Promise:  A study of New York City public schools published in the journal Education Next finds that students who move to a middle school may face an academic disadvantage compared to those who attend a K-8 school.  The study also finds that students who attend a stand-alone middle school are more absent often.  Very interesting implications for school reform!  Learn more by reading EdWeek’s article on the study.