Heather C. Hill's research while affiliated with Graduate School USA and other places

Publications (65)

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During the last three decades, scholars have proposed several conceptual structures to represent teacher knowledge. A common denominator in this work is the assumption that disciplinary knowledge and the knowledge needed for teaching are distinct. However, empirical findings on the distinguishability of these two knowledge components, and their rel...
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How should teachers spend their STEM-focused professional learning time? To answer this question, Heather Hill, Kathleen Lynch, Kathryn Gonzalez, and Cynthia Pollard analyzed a recent wave of rigorous new studies of STEM instructional improvement programs. They found that programs work best when focused on building knowledge teachers can use during...
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Poor program implementation constitutes one explanation for null results in trials of educational interventions. For this reason, researchers often collect data about implementation fidelity when conducting such trials. In this article, we document whether and how researchers report and measure program fidelity in recent cluster-randomized trials....
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Efforts to improve teachers’ knowledge and to change the nature of curriculum materials have dominated mathematics reforms since the late 1990s. In this article, we compared middle school teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and curriculum use between 2005 and 2016 to assess progress toward these key goals. We found teachers’ MKT inc...
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More than half of U.S. children fail to meet proficiency standards in mathematics and science in fourth grade. Teacher professional development and curriculum improvement are two of the primary levers that school leaders and policymakers use to improve children’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning, yet until recently,...
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Research-practice partnerships are collaborative research arrangements that seek to transform the relations among researchers, educators, and communities. There is a wide diversity in partnership forms and research methods used in them. In addition, there remain questions about the value of partnerships, given the time and resources they require to...
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We present results from a meta-analysis of 95 experimental and quasi-experimental pre-K–12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professional development and curriculum programs, seeking to understand what content, activities, and formats relate to stronger student outcomes. Across rigorously conducted studies, we found an averag...
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High-quality measures of instructional practice are essential for research and evaluation of innovative instructional policies and programs. However, existing measures have generally proven inadequate because of cost and validity issues. This paper addresses two potential drawbacks of survey self-report measures: variation in teachers’ interpretati...
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In this study, we replicate and extend prior work that investigates the extent to which content-specific and non-content-specific measures of instruction mediate the relationships between teacher knowledge and student achievement gains. We further probe the extent to which classroom and district context moderate the individual and collective connec...
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This paper describes and evaluates a web-based coaching program designed to support teachers in implementing Common Core-aligned math instruction. Web-based coaching programs can be operated at relatively lower costs, are scalable, and make it more feasible to pair teachers with coaches who have expertise in their content area and grade level. Resu...
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Background: For nearly three decades, policy-makers and researchers in the United States have promoted more intellectually rigorous standards for mathematics teaching and learning. Yet, to date, we have limited descriptive evidence on the extent to which reform-oriented instruction has been enacted at scale. Purpose: The purpose of the study is t...
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Since 2002, U.S. federal funding for educational research has favored the development and rigorous testing of interventions designed to improve student outcomes. However, recent reviews suggest that a large fraction of the programs developed and rigorously tested in the past decade have shown null results on student outcomes and, often, intermediat...
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Both scholars and professional standards identify teachers’ knowledge of students as important to promoting effective instruction and student learning. Prior research investigates two such types of knowledge: knowledge of student thinking and teacher accuracy in predicting student performance on cognitive assessments. However, the field presents we...
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Diverse stakeholders have an interest in understanding how teacher characteristics—their preparation and experience, knowledge, and mind-sets and habits—relate to students’ outcomes in mathematics. Past research has extensively explored this issue but often examined each characteristic in isolation. Drawing on data from roughly 300 fourth- and fift...
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Achievement outcomes for U.S. children are overwhelmingly unequal along racial, ethnic, and class lines. Whether and how schools contribute to educational inequality, however, has long been the subject of debate. This article traces the debate to the Coleman Report’s publication in 1966, describing the report’s production and impact on educational...
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Although video cases and video clubs have become popular forms of teacher professional development, there have been few systematic investigations of designs for such programs. Programs may vary according to (a) whether teachers watch videos of their own/their peers’ instruction, or whether teachers watch stock video of unknown teachers; and (b) whe...
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This study examined how school and district leaders access, value, and use research. From a representative sample of school districts across the United States, we surveyed 733 school and district leaders as part of an effort to develop understanding of the prevalence of research use, the nature of leaders’ attitudes toward research, and individual...
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New systems that seek to evaluate teachers with regard to their classroom quality often rely on observation instruments that capture general instructional pedagogies. However, decades of research suggest that content-specific dimensions of instruction also are important to differentiate teachers and improve student outcomes. We explore the degree o...
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In this paper, we describe findings from a three-year evaluation of a well-developed mathematics professional development program that is commercially available on a wide-scale. The professional development is designed to improve teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and to enable them to elicit more student thinking and reasoning during ma...
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Both the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and recent efforts to hold schools and teachers accountable have been hotly debated among practitioners, policymakers, and the public at large. Much of the debate centers on the merits and demerits of these initiatives and the general approach they represent to reforming teaching and learning. In this art...
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Policymakers and researchers have for many years advocated disparate approaches to ensuring teachers deliver high-quality instruction, including requiring that teachers complete specific training requirements, possess a minimum level of content knowledge, and use curriculum materials and professional development resources available from schools and...
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An important assumption underlying meaningful comparisons of scores in rater-mediated assessments is that measurement is commensurate across raters. When raters differentially apply the standards established by an instrument, scores from different raters are on fundamentally different scales and no longer preserve a common meaning and basis for com...
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Representations are often used in instruction to highlight key mathematical ideas and support student learning. Despite their centrality in scaffolding teaching and learning, most of our understanding about the tasks involved with using representations in instruction and the knowledge requirements imposed on teachers when using these aids is theore...
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Context In the past two years, states have implemented sweeping reforms to their teacher evaluation systems in response to Race to the Top legislation and, more recently, NCLB waivers. With these new systems, policymakers hope to make teacher evaluation both more rigorous and more grounded in specific job performance domains such as teaching qualit...
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Commentaries regarding appropriate methods for researching professional development have been a frequent topic in recent issues of Educational Researcher as well as other venues. In this article, the authors extend this discussion by observing that randomized trials of specific professional development programs have not enhanced our knowledge of ef...
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The question of how to measure effective teachers and teaching has long been of interest to policymakers and school leaders. While recent policy initiatives have focused on the use of value-added measures (VAM) to assess teacher quality, there is a much longer tradition of using observations of practice to make such determinations. However, empiric...
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In this article, Heather C. Hill and Pam Grossman discuss the current focus on using teacher observation instruments as part of new teacher evaluation systems being considered and implemented by states and districts. They argue that if these teacher observation instruments are to achieve the goal of supporting teachers in improving instructional pr...
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Multiple-choice assessments are frequently used for gauging teacher quality. However, research seldom examines whether results from such assessments generalize to practice. To illuminate this issue, we compare teacher performance on a mathematics assessment, during mathematics instruction, and by student performance on a state assessment. Poor perf...
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This paper documents the ways mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and curriculum materials appear to contribute to the enactment of a 7th grade Connected Mathematics Project lesson on comparing ratios. Two teachers with widely differing MKT scores are compared teaching this lesson. The comparison of the teachers' lesson enactments suggests th...
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The set of papers presented in this issue comprise a multiple-case study which attends to instructional resources—teacher knowledge and curriculum materials—to understand how they individually and jointly contribute to instructional quality. We approach this inquiry by comparing lessons taught by teachers with differing mathematical knowledge for t...
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This paper examines the contribution of mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and curriculum materials to the implementation of lessons on integer subtraction. In particular, it investigates the instruction of three teachers with differing MKT levels using two editions of the same set of curriculum materials that provided different levels of su...
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This paper draws on four case studies to perform a cross-case analysis investigating the unique and joint contribution of mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and curriculum materials to instructional quality. As expected, it was found that both MKT and curriculum materials matter for instruction. The contribution of MKT was more prevalent in...
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Measurement scholars have recently constructed validity arguments in support of a variety of educational assessments, including classroom observation instruments. In this article, we note that users must examine the robustness of validity arguments to variation in the implementation of these instruments. We illustrate how such an analysis might be...
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In recent years, interest has grown in using classroom observation as a means to several ends, including teacher development, teacher evaluation, and impact evaluation of classroom-based interventions. Although education practitioners and researchers have developed numerous observational instruments for these purposes, many developers fail to speci...
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Several studies have documented prospective teachers’ (PSTs) difficulties in offering instructional explanations. However, less is known about PSTs’ learning to provide explanations. To address this gap, we trace changes in the explanations offered by a purposeful sample of PSTs before and after a mathematics content/methods course sequence. Consis...
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Value-added models have become popular in research and pay-for-performance plans. While scholars have focused attention on some aspects of their validity (e.g., scoring procedures), others have received less scrutiny. This article focuses on the extent to which value-added scores correspond to other indicators of teacher and teaching quality. The a...
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Background/Context Teachers’ mathematical knowledge has been the subject of recent federal policy, public programs, and scholarly attention. Numerous reports identify a need for improving this knowledge, and total federal spending on content-focused math and science professional development during the period 2002–2007 is estimated to be above $1.2...
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This article explores elementary school teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and the relationship between such knowledge and teacher characteristics. The Learning Mathematics for Teaching project administered a multiple-choice assessment covering topics in number and operation to a nationally representative sample of teachers (n = 625) and...
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This article explores elementary school teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and the relationship between such knowledge and teacher characteristics. The Learning Mathematics for Teaching project administered a multiple-choice assessment covering topics in number and operation to a nationally representative sample of teachers ( n = 625) an...
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Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2005 issue of American Educator, the quarterly journal of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.
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This "Research Commentary" addresses the quality of statistical research in mathematics education. To do so, we analyze 10 years of Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME) articles based on criteria suggested by the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council for Measurement in Ed...
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This study illuminates claims that teachers' mathematical knowledge plays an important role in their teaching of this subject matter. In particular, we focus on teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT), which includes both the mathematical knowledge that is common to individuals working in diverse professions and the mathematical knowled...
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There is widespread agreement that effective teachers have unique knowledge of students' mathematical ideas and thinking. However, few scholars have focused on conceptualizing this domain, and even fewer have focused on measuring this knowledge. In this article, we describe an effort to conceptualize and develop measures of teachers' combined knowl...
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This article describes a study in which measures of mathematical knowledge for teaching developed in the United States were adapted to measure mathematical knowledge for teaching in Ireland. When adapting the measures it was not assumed that the mathematical knowledge used by Irish and U.S. teachers is the same. Instead psychometric and interview-b...
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This article examines the relationship between the mathematical knowledge of 438 K-8 California teachers and the demographics of the schools in which they work. To measure mathematical knowledge, we used a series of multiple-choice problems meant to represent both the content teachers teach and the specialized knowledge of mathematics that teachers...
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This article explores middle school teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching and the relationship between such knowledge and teachers’subject matter preparation, certification type, teaching experience, and their students’ poverty status. The author administered multiple-choice measures to a nationally representative sample of teachers and fou...
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The U.S. educational system invests heavily, in both time and money, in continuing education for teachers. In this article Heather Hill examines the effectiveness of two forms of teacher learning-graduate coursework and professional development. She focuses first on graduate education. Almost half of all teachers have a master's degree. Many states...
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This paper provides a summary of the authors' attempts to uncover links between their measures, classroom mathematics instruction, and student learning. This paper also provides evidence regarding one central critique of their measures: that multiple-choice assessments cannot validly represent the knowledge, skills, and judgment involved in actual...
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In recent years, scholars have problematized terms used to describe instruction on teacher survey instruments. When scholars, observers, and teachers employ terms like discuss and investigate, they often mean to describe quite different events. This article problematizes another set of terms often found on survey instruments, those describing mathe...
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This study explored whether and how teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching contributes to gains in students' mathematics achievement. The authors used a linear mixed-model methodology in which first and third graders' mathematical achievement gains over a year were nested within teachers, who in turn were nested within schools. They found th...
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Widespread agreement exists that U.S. teachers need improved mathematics knowledge for teaching. Over the past decade, policymakers have funded a range of professional development efforts designed to address this need. However, there has been little success in determining whether and when teachers develop mathematical knowledge from professional de...
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In this article we discuss efforts to design and empirically test measures of teachers' content knowledge for teaching elementary mathematics. We begin by reviewing the literature on teacher knowledge, noting how scholars have organized such knowledge. Next we describe survey items we wrote to represent knowledge for teaching mathematics and result...
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In this article I argue that the literature describing effective professional development is missing at least 2 key pieces of information-typical professional development that reaches typical teachers and how effective recent standards are in assisting district or school personnel to design and/or choose high-quality staff development experiences....
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Where We Are Political will to overturn the existing teacher eval-uation system has been growing for almost two decades, culminating recently in the federal Race to the Top legislation and district initiatives such as Washington, DC's IMPACT program, under which more than 280 teachers have lost jobs because of poor evaluations. 1 Initial skirmishes...

Citations

... While researchers have studied PD for decades, U.S. educators continue to struggle to understand what works in relation to teacher learning because of inconsistent research results (Hill, Corey et al., 2018). Various studies describe ineffective practices (Darling-Hammond et al., 2017;Hill, Beisiegel et al., 2013) while other studies fail to find statistical significance (Lortie-Forgues & Inglis, 2019), and many teacher learning initiatives fail to improve student outcomes (Bates & Morgan, 2018;Stigler & Hiebert, 2009). ...
... Mathematics educational philosophies in the United States have historically been divided into two camps: a traditional approach in which teachers demonstrate procedures that are repeated by students and a reform approach in which students solve rich tasks using their own strategies, use them to discover underlying concepts, and build conceptual understanding through discussion. Opportunities to Struggle (SOS), and Discussion-Based Learning (DBL) (Hiebert & Grouws, 2007;Hill et al., 2018;. ...
... A few studies explored the relationship between years of teaching experience and teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching using cross-sectional data (e.g., Herbst & Kosko, 2014;Hill, 2007Hill, , 2010Ko & Herbst, 2020). Nevertheless, to which extent changes in teachers' knowledge can be attributed to teachers' own teaching practice is unknown. ...
... In fact, the traditional literature reviews of the empirical studies on STEM teacher PD have several issues related to transparency and bias. Some researchers have conducted systematic reviews on the challenges and obstacles of STEM PD implementation [6] and meta-analytic studies to evaluate the effect of STEM PD on student achievement [40,41]. Also, there is a review focusing on design and teacher knowledge and practices that presented STEM PD in terms of collaboration, coherence, the siloing of activities, and integration, but did not discuss the activities for each STEM PD or their impact on instructional practices and knowledge [20]. ...
... Unfortunately, in typical school practice, building a conceptual understanding of the statistical investigation process is frequently overlooked. Emerging evidence indicates when upper elementary grade teachers introduce statistical content, they focus disproportionately on procedures for graphing data or performing calculations, with little to no emphasis on statistical investigation or interpretation of data (Litke & Hill, 2020). Given the challenges faced by students with MD, targeted support may be necessary to help students develop statistical proficiency and to understand data representations. ...
... In their review of research on mathematics coaching ee a field where many studies are located ee Marshall and Buenrostro (2021) found four main areas of interest: (1) coaches' activities and relationships; (2) effects of coaching on student assessment scores; (3) effects of coaching on teachers' practices; and (4) effects of coaching on teachers' knowledge or beliefs. Overall, researchers concur that coaching can support teacher learning, since coaches can help teachers make sense of instructional challenges (Domina et al., 2015;Kraft & Hill, 2020), but in-depth investigations of how such learning happens are rare. ...
... A crucial aspect of implementation, that provides important information for measuring fidelity, especially when the program is not implemented by researchers, is the dosage, that is, the amount of program delivered [29]. In a review, Hill and Erickson [30] found that implementation fidelity plays an important role in program outcomes, as programs delivered with high or moderate levels of fidelity show more than double the potential to achieve positive results, contradicting the null outcome seen in our study. Despite the scarcity of reports on DARE-kiR implementation, a study investigating kiR implementation fidelity found that its impact can increase based on the quality of delivery [25]. ...
... This approach is common among empirical studies of research use to make sure it is not overestimated, 45 and has been widely employed in RPP studies. 7 10 46 Data will be collected from August 2022 to October 2024 in multiple rounds and will be guided by ongoing refinement of the ToC/programme theory. ...
... The second part was the investigation of influencing factors, including exploratory learning (four questions), self-efficacy (four questions) [19][20], curriculum quality (three questions) [21], internet word-of-mouth (three questions) [22], perceived usefulness (four questions) [23] and perceived ease of use (four questions) [24]. ...
... As asserted by Zhbanova, Rule & Tallakson (2019), creating dioramas is a powerful educational tool that enhances various skills including spatial awareness, inquiry, critical thinking and creativity. Additionally, using songs, music, drama, and flipped classroom (element of surprise in learning) were evident in helping tackle students' anxiety including feeling uncomfortable, unsettled and 'freaked out' when learning STEM subjects (Lynch K, et al., 2019). Evidently, creative instruction had resulted in active participation and engagement among students in learning sessions. ...