Evaluating DMI Project Details for Teachers

Thank you for your interest in participating in the Evaluating DMI project. The application process is now complete.

The information below provides an overview of expectations, compensation, privacy protections, and so forth for teachers who are taking part in Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) professional development seminars as part of the Evaluating DMI research project, and for others who are interested.

Click here to download a copy (.pdf) of the Consent for Teacher Participation in Evaluating DMI Research which we asked teachers to sign as part of the application.

Click here to learn more about the DMI materials themselves.

Or Contact us if you have questions.

Introduction

Evaluating DMI is a research project intended to study how DMI professional development seminars affect teachers' knowledge and classroom practice, and how this in turn affects students' learning. As part of this project, we recruited teachers to take part in the seminars, and to also be part of the research over the course of two years. As part of the research teachers complete several assessments, logs, and surveys; allow us to videotape in their classrooms once each year (for a few people twice); and assist us in collecting student information such as parental consent forms and various assessments.

To test the impact of DMI, we are conducting a randomized experiment. Teachers who applied to be part of the Building a System of Tens (BST) and/ or Making Meaning for Operations (MMO) DMI seminars through Evaluating DMI, agreed to let us randomly pick when they would take the seminars. Between 1/2 and 2/3 of each group take part in DMI seminars right away; the rest are asked to wait until the next academic year and are asked not to take another DMI seminar while waiting. Both groups and their students take part in data collection about the impact of DMI during two academic years. This lets us compare results for teachers who took DMI right away with a similar group who were asked to wait. Teachers are paid throughout the two years for their participation in both the research and the DMI seminars - see informed consent document for details.

The first cohort of teachers were assigned to be part of DMI Professional Development seminars either in Summer/ Fall/ Winter 2011-12 or  Summer/ Fall/ Winter 2012-13. The second Massachusetts cohort, and the North Carolina cohort participated in Fall/  Winter/ Summer 2012-13 or Summer/ Fall/ Winter 2013-14.

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Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the DMI seminars as part of this research, an applicant:

  • cannot have prior experience attending DMI seminars
  • cannot be a first-year teacher
  • must currently teach in Grades 1-5
  • must be using the Investigations curriculum in either Charlotte-Mecklenberg, NC public schools, or in one of the following Massachusetts public school districts who have made arrangements to participate: Boston, Leominster, Fitchburg, Springfield; Amherst, Burlington, Concord, Danvers, Hudson, Longmeadow, Northampton, Wellesley, or Westwood.
  • must be working with students who have sufficient English language skills to take part in written assessments and class discussions in English
  • must be willing to give consent for participation in the study (see below)
  • teachers who participated in teacher professional development that was part of CMS' math-science partnership (MSP) project may not be eligible (final decision pending)

We regret that due to research constraints, we are unable to include special education teachers or paraprofessionals in the study.

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Participant Responsibilities

We collect the following information from teachers:

  • Background information about academic degrees, years of teaching experience, prior math professional development, and so forth.
  • Measures of knowledge of elementary mathematics ideas, students' understanding of those, and how to teach them — each academic year.
  • Information about attendance at DMI seminars and copies of work turned in (submitted by workshop facilitators). Project staff may also observe one or more DMI seminar sessions.
  • A brief monthly log and an annual survey about math professional development experiences (workshops, coaching, support groups, coursework, etc.).
  • A videotape of each teacher leading a classroom discussion about a topic in number and operations during the spring
    (February to May) of each academic year. We will also ask roughly 10% of teachers for a second videotape.

We collect the following student information:

  • End-of-unit assessments for Investigations Number and Operations units as well as Investigations-linked end-of-year assessments. If the end-of-year assessment in Boston is not specific to Investigations, we may ask students to complete an additional assessment specific to Investigations. When the assessments are not ordinarily given, we are asking you to make time in your class for students to complete these, but TERC staff will be responsible for scoring them.
  • Beginning of year or prior year achievement test scores and MCAS scores from the district, when these are available.
  • We are also asking for teachers' help in distributing and collecting informed consent documents from students' parents/ guardians.

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Informed Consent