The University of Mississippi’s Center for Excellence in Educational Technology developed IMPACT2 to create statewide professional learning communities for middle school mathematics teachers. Now administered by the MSU’s Extension Center for Outreach, the program focuses on connecting teachers through face-to-face group work and shared experiences as well as utilizing technology for virtual connection and communication. Project objectives include enhancing teacher content knowledge in mathematics, developing active learning instructional strategies, integrating mathematics across the curriculum, and utilizing instructional technology. Each year a new group of teacher participants develops a network of other teachers, teacher mentors, and content experts with whom they can share ideas and resources, seek help and advice, and find and/or offer support for improving middle school mathematics education.
RISE developed an evaluation plan that uses data embedded in projects activities and processes. Data sources include: (a) teacher and student pre- and posttests of content knowledge; (b) classroom observation reports by the IMPACT2 staff members; (c) teacher reflections on video conferences, Pi Days, classroom observations, individual improvement plans, and professional development activities for peers; (d) teacher ratings of and reflections on Summer Institute experiences; (e) teacher participation in on-line discussions; (f) final Questionnaire and All Teacher Survey; and (g) other project records.
This project and its evaluation are modeled after MSU’s ATOMS-2XP, a previous highly successful multi-year effort for middle school science teachers. A description of that project and evaluation results was published in the International Journal of Adult, Community, and Professional Learning (Latimer, E., Anderson M., & Kemis, M. (2014). International Journal of Adult, Community, and Professional Learning. 20(2) 1-12).
U. S. Department of Education through Mississippi State University