Openness and Measurement: Two Principles for Improving Educational Practice and Shared Instructional Products

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  • 1 University of Delaware

Two studies were conducted to identify the conditions under which instructors teaching the same mathematics teacher preparation course would continuously improve their shared instructional products (lesson plans for class sessions) using small amounts of data on preservice teacher performance. Findings indicated that when lesson-level student performance data were simply collected, by course section, the instructors could make important changes to the lessons but did not often do so. However, when the instructors were encouraged to compare data across semesters, they generated hypotheses that guided instructional improvements, which then were tested through multiple cycles. The cycles of hypothesis testing helped instructors clarify the goals for improvement, use the performance data to test whether changes were actually improvements, and reduce their tolerance for marginal student performance.

Contributor Notes

Anne K. Morris, School of Education, 105B Willard Hall, University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716;

James Hiebert, School of Education, 107A Willard Hall, University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716;

(Corresponding author is Morris author is Hiebert
Mathematics Teacher Educator


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