We don’t come across rigorous research on teacher professional development at the high school level as often as we’d like. So, when we read the positive findings from a randomized control trial of the web-mediated professional development strategy, My Teaching Partner—Secondary (MTP-S)
, we thought it would be interesting to blog about it.
MTP-S is a program that targets the motivational and instructional qualities of teachers’ interactions with students (e.g., builds a positive emotional climate, provides a sense of relevance for content) and can be used across the high school curriculum. The program intent is to tailor teacher/student interactions to adolescents’ developmental needs, thereby, improving motivation and engagement, and ultimately, achievement. The program integrates an initial workshop-based training, an annotated video library, and a year of personalized coaching, followed by a brief workshop. Over the course of the school year, teachers submit video recordings of their classes, and trained consultants review recordings and provide feedback through the website and 20- to 30-minute phone calls.
The study reports substantial gains in student achievement scores the year following teachers’ participation in the MTP-S program, across subject areas and classrooms of different student compositions and structural characteristics. Interestingly, the researchers provided the program costs—consultants and video equipment averaged about $3,700 per teacher—which they concluded is within the range of typical annual expenditures for teacher in-service training. The researchers conclude the research article with a list of potential study limitations and recommend replication and further evaluation.
Have you had experience with MTP-S or similar programs? Let us know! Tweet us at @NHSCatAIR
An Interaction-Based Approach to Enhancing Secondary School Instruction and Student Achievement Allen et al. Science, 333 (6045), p. 1034