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Equity. Access. Excellence.

Looking at the Impact of our Long-Term Collaborations

Through our work in K-12 mathematics and science, academic mindsets, and learning strategies, the Dana Center aims to position students for success in postsecondary education.

Read about some of the internal and external evaluations that examined the impact of the Dana Center’s long-term collaborations.


Department of Defense Education Activity College and Career Ready Initiative, Mathematics Professional Learning

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) project is a professional learning initiative developed by the Dana Center and facilitated by DoDEA. The goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of teachers, school-level leaders, and above-school-level leaders to ensure that all PK-12 students meet or exceed the expectation of the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics (CCRSM).

Our work with DoDEA has been ongoing since 2015-16, with the most recent results presented April 2018. The Center for STEM Education at The University of Texas at Austin leads the evaluation efforts for this DoDEA project.

Impact Reported

DoDEA facilitators conducted professional learning sessions with Elementary Math and Secondary Math educators in January, February, and March 2018 (2017-18 Quarter 3). At the end of each session, participants were asked to complete an online survey regarding their satisfaction, learning, and application of the session content. The survey also asked participants to report changes in their practices resulting from earlier training. They also shared any needs for additional resources.

Facilitators were also asked to complete a survey indicating their reaction to each session, changes in practice resulting from the initiative, and recommendations for strengthening their preparation and refining facilitation materials for future sessions.

Mathematics Participant Surveys

Overall, more than eighty-five percent of the 2017-18 Quarter 3 Elementary Math and Secondary Math participants were satisfied with, learned from, and intended to apply what they learned from the professional learning sessions.

  • On average, Elementary Math participants indicated higher satisfaction with, learning from, and intention to apply learning from session content than Secondary Math participants.
  • Participants in Americas Mid-Atlantic, Americas Southeast, and Pacific West were more likely to be satisfied with and excited to apply the Quarter 3 session content than those in other districts, particularly compared to participants in Europe East and Europe South.
Mathematics Facilitator Surveys

All Elementary Math and Secondary Math facilitators felt prepared for and successful in their session delivery and said participants were receptive to, engaged in, and understood session content overall. All Elementary Math facilitators indicated that they were able to implement planned content and that participants were engaged in the Quarter 3 professional learning session content.

  • Fewer facilitators of Secondary Math sessions indicated they were able to implement all of the planned content than Elementary session facilitators.
  • Fewer facilitators of Secondary Math sessions indicated that participants were engaged in the session elements than Elementary Math facilitators.

Louisiana Department of Education English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Professional Development Systems, Math Content Leader and Mentor Teacher Initiatives

As part of Louisiana’s ELA and Mathematics Professional Development System, these initiatives aim to equip Mentor Teachers and Mathematics Content Leaders with the training and materials they need to effectively train and support new and current teachers. This helps to ensure that Louisiana educators receive deep and ongoing professional learning connected to the grade level, content area, and primary curriculum they teach.

Results from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) trainings were presented May 2018. The Center for STEM Education at The University of Texas at Austin leads the evaluation efforts for this LDOE project.

Impact Reported

Elementary and Secondary Math Content Leader (CL) and Mentor Teacher (MT) participants attended a series of trainings spring 2018. After each training, participants were asked to complete online evaluation surveys designed to assess their satisfaction with, learning from, and application of the training content. The Center for STEM Education also conducted focus groups with randomly-selected samples of Secondary Content Leaders, Elementary Content Leaders, and Mentor Teachers to further assess participants’ perceptions and application of their respective training content.

Elementary Math Content Leader Survey Findings

As a result of the initiative, nearly all (96%) of Elementary CL respondents reported that they:

  • can apply best practices of adult learning to lead effective professional development,
  • can foster a supportive culture among teacher’s learning and improvement,
  • understand the curriculum,
  • feel prepared to deliver the Math Content Modules, and
  • feel confident they will be successful in delivery of the Math Content Modules.

Slightly fewer (88%) reported they have a deeper knowledge of mathematics, particularly around major work and mathematical strategies.

Secondary Math Content Leader Survey Findings

All Secondary Math Content Leader respondents agreed or strongly agreed with each of the initiative outcome items, indicating that they:

  • had a deeper knowledge of mathematics,
  • can apply best practices of adult learning to lead effective professional development,
  • can foster a supportive culture among teacher learning and improvement,
  • can understand the EngageNY curriculum,
  • feel prepared to deliver the Math Content Modules, and
  • feel confident they will be successful in delivery of the Math Content Modules.
Content Leader Focus Group Findings

Overall, Elementary and Secondary CL focus group participants saw value in the CL trainings and described them as “great for teachers and a much-needed built-in support.” Despite none of the participants having formally delivered the Math Content Module trainings, both cohorts have been successful in unofficially sharing tools and strategies with other teachers, especially regarding vertical alignment and improving mathematical discourse in classrooms.

Elementary and Secondary CL participants both reported a lack of awareness and support for the initiative on the part of their school administrations. Both cohorts recommended increased communication from the state to district/school administration to help facilitate the intended delivery of the Math Content Modules.

Mentor Teacher Survey Findings

Nearly all (97%) of the Mentor Teacher respondents agreed or strongly agreed with each of the initiative outcome items, indicating that they:

  • gained knowledge and skills to build strong relationships with resident and new teachers,
  • can identify and address the needs of resident and new teachers based on the teacher certification competencies,
  • can build and expertly implement aligned support for resident and new teachers to help them improve,
  • feel prepared to mentor resident and new teachers, and
  • feel confident they will be successful in mentoring resident and new teachers as required.
Mentor Teacher Focus Group Findings

All Mentor Teachers who participated in the focus group acted as mentors to either resident and/or novice teachers in the 2017-18 academic year. Overall, participants agreed that the strategies and tools provided in the MT training were very useful to their roles as teachers, leaders, and mentors.

Participants have found the most useful aspects of the training to be role-play activities, partnership agreement, data collection tools, teacher competencies, and collaboration with colleagues. Mentor Teachers reported using partnership agreement, communication skills, and reflection strategies that they gained in the training in their own teaching and mentoring roles. In addition, they reported sharing growth mindset information and the consultancy protocol with other teachers.

When asked what additional supports or training would assist them in their roles as mentors, the Mentor Teachers discussed the need for: teacher competencies that address relationships with students; MT training to occur prior to the academic year; improved communication with university partners; and, informing school administration about the Mentor Teacher initiative and its strategies.