The Math for All (MFA) professional development program has been extensively pilot- and field-tested in collaboration with researchers from the EDC|Center for Children & Technology and School Change at Teachers College, Columbia University (Meier et al., 2008).
Results from this research provided evidence of the feasibility and usability of the MFA program in a variety of settings, as well as its impact on teachers’ knowledge, skills, and teaching practices that prior research has associated with improved learning outcomes for students with and without disabilities. Teachers improved their understanding of individual students’ strengths and needs and of how to select instructional strategies to make math lessons more accessible to students with different strengths and needs without changing the standards-based goals of the lessons. Classroom observations confirmed that teachers who participated in the MFA PD were observing individual children, adapting math lessons to better meet students’ strengths and needs, and incorporating a range of instructional strategies into their classroom practice.
Through subsequent research studies, we were able to demonstrate that the program still had a significant effect on teachers’ knowledge and classroom practices when it was implemented by facilitators other than the program developers, a finding that attests to the scalability of the program. This study also allowed us to gather some initial data to examine the potential impact of the MFA program on student learning outcomes. We found that the percentage of students who scored at or above the proficiency level increased after being taught by teachers who participated in the professional development, with an average increase of 8.7%. For seven out of nine cohorts, this increase was greater than the average change in proficiency rates for the same grade levels within their state, which ranged from 3.5% to 5%.
For more details on the MFA research, please see Math for All Research Base.
The Mathematics for All Project final report, prepared to the National Science Foundation, is available here: MFA Final Report