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Evidence-Based Design from the Mathematical ACTS MSP Project at the University of California-Riverside

Abstract

"The research and evaluation theme of this proposal from the Mathematical ACTS MSP project at the University of California-Riverside is evidence-based design for facilitating teacher change. Using the project's logic model this paper will begin with an overview of its activities, intended outcomes, and evaluation design. The remainder of the paper will focus on the development, training and administration, and results from an observation instrument used to assess the classroom practices of teachers who participated in Mathematical ACTS professional development and follow-up support over the previous school year, as well as the practices of comparison group teachers. The role of this assessment in the project's evidence-based design will also be explained.

Specifically, the paper will describe: the project's decision to create an observation instrument rather than use one of several existing instruments, the collaborative development process involving core team members, training of observers, procedures for establishing inter-rater reliability, the use of the instrument, analyses conducted and lessons learned for this pilot year.

Preliminary findings from the observations will compare Mathematical ACTS participants and non-participants. Interpretation of these findings will be discussed, along with anticipated further analyses. The paper will conclude with a discussion of issues and challenges, plans for observations to be conducted in the 2005-06 school year, and commentary on this assessment's role in providing evidence for the effectiveness of Mathematical-ACTS."

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