Professional development in data use: The effects of primary school teacher training on teaching practices and students' mathematical proficiency

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The main aim of this dissertation was to evaluate a PDP on data use in terms of both its proximal (changes in teacher attitudes and teaching practices) and distal outcomes (improved math achievement of the students). This PDP contained three components that reflect the core features of data use and for which empirical evidence has been found: 1. deciding on the desired proficiency level by setting performance standards and goals, 2. establishing the actual proficiency level by using data-analyses and conducting diagnostic math interviews, 3. modifying instruction, using evidence-informed instructional methods (direct instruction and modelling) such that the gap between the desired and actual level can be closed. The PDP was expected to foster teachers’ pedagogical data-literacy, meaning that teachers would be able to adequately interpret data and use this information to base meaningful instructional decisions and actions on (Mandinach, 2012). Consequently, changed teacher attitudes and teaching practices were assumed, resulting in improved math achievement of the students. The study showed that teaching practices were minimally affected by the PDP and no effects on student achievement was found.
Professionalizing teachers' data use seems to be complex. There is still no clarity as for the desired content, implementation and evaluation of professional development programs in this field. As data use is nationally and internationally one of the spearheads of educational policy, policy makers should be aware that its evaluation results will be difficult to interpret.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Bosker, Roel, Supervisor
  • Deunk, Marjolein, Co-supervisor
Award date5-Nov-2015
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8228-9
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8227-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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