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Using TKAS to Evaluate Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching


This paper addresses the following claim(s):

"The Teacher Knowledge Assessment System provides an opportunity to test two important hypotheses.

  1. The first hypothesis and related set of questions focus on the use of Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). The main advantage of CAT administration is that individual questions are selected based on a participant's prior answers. This allows the test to adapt to a participant's ability level by administering questions of appropriate difficulty. In theory, CAT administrations will be both shorter and provide more precise measures across the full participant ability spectrum. We will investigate two questions related to the CAT administration.

    • Are CAT assessments substantially shorter than the analogous traditional fixed form assessments?

    • Does CAT provide more precise estimates of participant knowledge across the full range of participant ability?

  2. The second set of questions focus on the use of LMT assessments and associated surveys in TKAS to study professional development and teacher learning. When projects use TKAS to assess professional development, the PD provider and teachers involved in PD will complete surveys asking about the design of the professional development and about their own personal background. We will use this data along with both PD provider and teacher assessment scores to conduct a series of large-scale meta analyses to answer the following questions.

    • What are the average effects for professional development programs on teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching?

    • Do the effects of professional development programs vary by subject matter assessment and by program length? Do these effects vary by the average mathematics experience and pre-test knowledge of teacher participants?

    • What features of professional development programs are consistently and most strongly associated with gains in teachers' knowledge?

    • Are particular program features more effective for teachers with different levels of mathematical knowledge, professional experience, and other teacher background characteristics?"