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Math in the Middle Showcase

Linking Teacher Characteristics to Student Mathematics Outcomes


"The Math in the Middle Institute Partnership (M2) is designed to improve K-12 student mathematics achievement by creating sustainable partnerships among individuals at each of the following entities: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, regional Educational Service Units (ESUs), and local school districts. These partnerships are designed to educate and support teams of outstanding middle-level mathematics teachers (Grades 5-8) who will become intellectual leaders in their schools, districts, and ESUs. M2 is particularly committed to improving the capacity of rural teachers, schools, and districts. The design of M2 is grounded in evidencebased research on learning, teaching, and teacher professional development. M2 involves multiple cohorts of teachers, each of which consists of approximately 30 lead teachers.

...preliminary analyses suggest positive effects of participation in M2 on a range of teacher
outcomes, including ratings of preparedness and confidence, philosophy of mathematics teaching
and learning, instructional emphasis, use of assessment, and professional interaction among
mathematics teachers. A handful of differences in outcomes were found for teachers from
Lincoln Public Schools and those with different levels of undergraduate mathematics coursework
and teaching experience. Analysis of student mathematics achievement data indicated both
positive and negative effects of teacher participation in M2, which were small after controlling
for a range of student characteristics. Examination of teacher-level factors that contributed to
student achievement outcomes showed mixed effects."