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Studying the effects of teachers’ professional development through quasi-experimental analyses of TIMSS and PIRLS

Recent meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials have found statistically significant effects of teachers’ professional development (PD) on teaching and student achievement. However, because these estimates are mainly based on small-scale trials conducted in favourable settings, it is important to investigate PD effects in settings that are representative of teachers at large and examine how such effects are influenced by PD characteristics and contextual factors. For such studies, we need data sets that not only contain information on teachers’ PD participation, teaching, and student achievement, but also are nationally representative and measure significant contextual factors. this project aims to investigate the causal effects of PD on teaching and student achievement, including how PD effects are influenced by factors such as the content, duration, and intensity of PD, as well as teacher and school characteristics. The project’s analytical methods represent a new approach in PD research that will contribute to the research field both substantially and methodologically.

Start

2022-01-01

Planned completion

2025-12-31

Main financing

Project manager at MDU

No partial template found

Bakgrund

Recent meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials have found statistically significant effects of teachers’ professional development (PD) on teaching and student achievement. However, because these estimates are mainly based on small-scale trials conducted in favourable settings, it is important to investigate PD effects in settings that are representative of teachers at large and examine how such effects are influenced by PD characteristics and contextual factors. For such studies, we need data sets that not only contain information on teachers’ PD participation, teaching, and student achievement, but also are nationally representative and measure significant contextual factors. To draw causal conclusions, the datasets must allow for the use of quasi-experimental methods. By analysing two decades of two data sets that fulfil these conditions (TIMSS and PIRLS), this project aims to investigate the causal effects of PD on teaching and student achievement, including how PD effects are influenced by factors such as the content, duration, and intensity of PD, as well as teacher and school characteristics. The project’s analytical methods represent a new approach in PD research that will contribute to the research field both substantially and methodologically. In particular, the project will shed light on whether the PD teachers typically attend improves teaching and student achievement, or whether some types of PD, or some settings, are particularly beneficial or detrimental.

Funding in SEK: 5, 9 millions


Purpose of the project

The purpose of the project is to investigate the causal effects of PD on teaching and student achievement, including how PD effects are influenced by factors such as the content, duration, and intensity of PD, as well as teacher and school characteristics.

This research relates to the following sustainable development goals

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