Teacher Professional Development and Preparation

Rockman et al has evaluated a variety of short- and long-term professional development initiatives, including face-to-face, online, and hybrid or blended formats. Our in-depth examinations include programs designed for teachers of english language arts and literacy, math, science, social studies, and projects seeking to reach underserved schools and English Learners.

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Selected Projects Include

  • Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET)

    Rockman et al is the external evaluator for the Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant and led by Radford University’s IMPACT lab. REA will evaluate the implementation and impact of the online, self-paced, competency-based education (CBE) training program designed to increase teacher effectiveness and workforce capacity in underserved rural communities in Appalachia. The CBE teacher-training program will serve as a dissemination platform for the IES What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides, while developing a replicable and scalable national model for CBE-enabled teacher effectiveness training in critical shortage areas.

  • New Visions Urban Teacher Residency Program

    The New Visions for Public Schools-Hunter College Urban Teacher Residency (UTR) project is a partnership between New Visions, the Hunter College Schools of Education and Arts and Sciences, and the New York City Department of Education. The 5-year project is designed to increase the number of well-prepared teachers entering the city’s classrooms, provide ongoing support during the critical early years of teaching, and ultimately raise teacher retention rates and student achievement. To assess the impact of the UTR model, REA conducted surveys and focus groups with each cohort of UTR residents at key points during their 14-month program, and during their first years as NYC public school teachers. REA also gathered data from Hunter faculty and host school mentors and principals focusing on residents’ preparation, readiness, confidence, and integration into school culture. Finally, REA reviewed achievement and other institutional data to assess the program’s impact on student performance, including state licensing and certification records, graduation rates, and NYC teacher retention rates.

  • Teacher Practice Networks

    In collaboration with WestEd’s Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, Rockman et al conducted a quantitative survey of more than 12,000 teachers working with thirty-six professional development organizations that received grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The survey examined changes in K-12 teachers’ understanding and implementation of new state standards, as well as the types of professional development supports that teachers found most effective for increasing their understanding and improving their practice.

  • A. James Clark Excellence in History Teaching Program

    Rockman et al conducted a study for The Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH) Excellence in History Teaching Program, a two-part program including Teach It Forward, (held at NMAH for teachers in the D.C. Maryland, and Virginia area), and Let’s Do History, (for teachers around the country). The two programs provided professional development for over 3,000 teachers, introducing object- and primary source-based instructional strategies, the Smithsonian’s rich array of resources, and ways teachers could use these to kindle an interest in history among K-12 students. REA explored teachers’ usage of project resources, classroom implementation of new strategies for teaching history, district-level curriculum and instruction changes, and changes in students’ interest in history and historical thinking, using surveys, interviews, case studies, and online activities.

  • East Bay Center for the Performing Arts Learning Without Borders

    The East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA) Learning without Borders (LWOB) professional development program served elementary school teachers in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Through professional development workshops, coaching, and in-class visits from artists, the program aimed to increase the capacity and confidence of the teachers to integrate arts with other core subject areas. REA collected survey, focus group, and pre- and post-test data from the participating teachers, and this data led to important insights about the teachers’ expectations for the program, feedback about the program, perceptions of the program’s impacts, and recommendations for the program moving forward.

  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific Galileo Educator Network (GEN)

    With funding from NASA, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) developed the Galileo Educator Network (GEN), which prepared teacher educators nationwide to design and deliver professional development workshops on astronomy content and science practices aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). REA collected surveys and observations to describe the ways in which GEN engaged K-12 teachers and promoted the effective use of NASA-developed resources. REA presented its evaluation findings at two ASP annual meetings.

  • Jackson State University: Mississippi Academy for Science Teaching (MAST)

    Rockman et al has served as the external evaluator for four professional development programs provided by Jackson State University for science teachers in elementary, middle and high school. REA has employed a mixed methods approach, including pre- and post surveys, qualitative interviews, and observations to measure the quality of implementation and impacts on teachers and students. Our most recent evaluation, a long-term impact study of MAST alums between 2004-2014, showed that MAST can achieve meaningful and sustained impacts on teaching and learning.

  • Clark Let’s Do History Program and The Smithsonian Institution 3D Resource Pilot

    In this two-part study, Rockman et al (REA) evaluated outcomes of The Smithsonian Institution’s ongoing Let’s Do History teacher training program and an educational iBook which incorporates 3D technology in an interdisciplinary exploration of Abraham Lincoln and his era in history. REA gathered feedback on the Let’s Do History program from teachers who attended the training and students experiencing their teaching techniques in the classroom. REA’s evaluation provided information on how The Smithsonian Institution can combine 3D technology with their considerable artifact collection to bring history to life.

  • ReadWorks

    Rockman et al has conducted several studies investigating the implementation and impact of ReadWorks‘ curriculum and teacher training materials, which are designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading comprehension. A primary goal of the work has been to understand educator engagement with RW training resources and its influence on making instructional shifts in English language arts and literacy that are required by the Common Core State Standards. REA’s impact study investigated potential improvements in student achievement and teacher practice, beliefs, and knowledge through classroom observations, teacher interviews and surveys, and student assessment data in three elementary schools. REA has also conducted analyses of Google Analytics (GA) data, Drupal content management system (CMS) reports, and customer relationship management (CRM) data to describe digital resource distribution, concentration, use, and saturation or growth patterns.