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Improving Mathematics and Science Education

Improving Mathematics and Science Education: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship Between Reform-Oriented Instruction and Student Achievement

Vi-Nhuan Le
Brian M. Stecher
J. R. Lockwood
Laura S. Hamilton
Abby Robyn
Valerie L. Williams
Gery Ryan
Kerri A. Kerr
José Felipe Martínez
Stephen P. Klein
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 116
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Improving Mathematics and Science Education
    Book Description:

    Presents the findings of a multiyear study of the effectiveness of reform-oriented science and mathematics teaching (instructional practices for engaging students actively in their own learning and enhancing the development of complex cognitive skills)-specifically, whether such practices are associated with higher student achievement and whether that association is sensitive to the aspects of achievement that are measured. (CD-ROM enclosed.)

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4246-0
    Subjects: Education, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Educators and policymakers have been concerned about the quality of mathematics and science education in the United States for several decades. In the 1990s, a number of major initiatives were launched to improve mathematics and science education, including the development of national standards (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 1989, 2000; National Research Council [NRC], 1996; American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1993); the development of new curriculum materials (Linn et al., 2000; Porter et al., 1994); the initiation of systemic reforms (Shields, Corcoran, and Zucker, 1994); the provision of professional development (Dutro et al., 2002); and...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Sample Selection and Data Collection
    (pp. 9-22)

    The study followed five cohorts of students and their mathematics and science teachers over a three-year period. This chapter provides details about the methods that were used to select sites and to sample schools, teachers, and students. It also describes data-collection procedures, including the surveys, logs, interviews, and observations that were used to assess information about teachers’ background characteristics, instructional practices, and classroom influences.

    The project recruited school districts that had participated or were participating in NSF’s LSC program. NSF staff familiar with the LSC program suggested districts they believed had high teacher participation in reform-oriented professional development, and we...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Measures of Teaching Practices
    (pp. 23-48)

    This chapter provides more information about the derivation and quality of the measures of instructional practices. We pay particular attention to the vignette-based measures, which were one of the innovative aspects of the study. The discussion begins with measures derived from the surveys and logs, then describes measures derived from the observations, and concludes with measures derived from the vignettes. For the most part, all the survey, logs, and vignette-based measures were available for all three years of the study; observational measures were available for only a sample of teachers in year 2.

    Drawing on data from teachers’ responses to...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Relationships Between Reform-Oriented Instruction and Student Achievement in Mathematics and Science
    (pp. 49-74)

    This chapter presents the results of our analyses of the relationships between student achievement and teacher-level variables. Although the primary focus of the analysis is on instructional practices, we were also interested in understanding other factors that might be related to students’ test performance. Thus, we explore the relationships between achievement and curriculum coverage, teacher-background characteristics, and classroom contextual factors.

    The first step in the analyses was to investigate to what extent differences in student achievement could be associated with teacher-level variables. Next, we describe the longitudinal modeling procedures we used to investigate the association between student achievement and continued...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Implications
    (pp. 75-80)

    The analyses described in this monograph suggest that, over a three-year period, greater exposure to reform-oriented instruction was generally not significantly associated with higher student achievement. Those relatively weak positive associations between reform-oriented instruction and achievement that were found are consistent with the findings of a number of earlier studies.

    However, the results reinforce two important messages. The first message is that measurement matters: The choice of achievement measure leads to somewhat different conclusions about the strength of the relationship between achievement and reform-oriented instruction. In particular, achievement measures that appeared to be reasonably well aligned with the goals of...

  14. Appendixes
    (pp. 81-82)
  15. References
    (pp. 83-92)