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Maryland Collaborative For Teacher
Session: "Lessons Learned By Project Evaluators"
J. Randy McGinnis
University of Maryland
"What Works and What Doesn't: Gathering Guidelines and Impressions"
A CETP Conference, Arlington, VA, April 30-May 2, 1998.
The preparation of this material was supported in part by a grant from the
National Science Foundation
(Cooperative Agreement No. DUE 9255745).
1. An effective way to enhance the information available to CETP Principal
Investigators is to broaden the conception of evaluation to include development
and knowledge growth in addition to the traditional focus on accountability.
Explanation. Within the MCTP, the project supported two separate
information gathering groups: an internal Evaluation Group and a Research
Group. The Evaluation Group's work related to project accountability. The
Research Group's work related to development and knowledge growth. Both groups
reported directly to the Principal Investigators who could decide on how to
best use the different information gathering purposes to inform salient
concerns and interests generated within and outside the project. We believe
these two information gathering groups could be combined under a single heading
of "Evaluation" provided that the understanding of evaluation includes the more
current conception of evaluation as encompassing a multiplicity of purposes:
accountability, development, and knowledge growth.
2. Publicly, and regularly, sharing information findings of the CETP project
promotes the generation of a collaborative learning community that values a
reflective perspective toward reform in the teacher preparation of mathematics
and science teachers.
Explanation. Throughout the years of the project, the MCTP the Research
Group has publicly shared findings via conference presentation, postings on a
homepage on the www, and publication in books and journals. This public
sharing has assisted in the generation of a MCTP community bound by shared
interests and concerns. The products of the MCTP Research Group have taken on
the nature of "community property" widely considered by members of the MCTP as
a lasting legacy of the CETP project. This public sharing contrasts with the
generally private nature of the Evaluation Group that focuses on accountability
of the project.
3. The impact of the CETP project on clearly identified variables is best
documented longitudinally over years.
Explanation. The impact of the MCTP on the teacher candidates' attitudes
and beliefs toward mathematics and science and the teaching of those subjects
took time to document in the direction the project was hoping. This is a
significant finding supporting the need for long term investment of resources
across the teacher preparation program (including the crucial induction
4. Using a mixed methodology (quantitative and qualitative) is essential to
support and inform CETP longitudinal findings.
Explanation. The MCTP Research Group worked hard to document changes in
the beliefs and attitudes of the MCTP teacher candidates (and compare them with
non- MCTP teacher candidates) over time. While the quantitative documentation
was necessary, it was not sufficient to inform us of the reasons for changes
over time. The qualitative strategies, such as in-depth case studies of MCTP
classes and interviews with hundreds of teacher candidates throughout the
state, provided data from which to generate hypothesis which are open to