How Beginning Elementary Teachers’ Social Networks Affect Ambitious Math Instruction in the Current Evaluation Climate

How do new teachers’ colleagues influence their lesson planning and math instruction?

This work will examine how colleagues influence the lesson planning and math instruction of novice teachers. The researchers suggest that new teachers may turn to colleagues to discuss content, interpret expectations about lesson planning, and/or understand how the demands of the evaluation system translate to practice. Thus, knowledge of math and norms regarding instruction in a new teacher’s network may impact the quality of the novice’s practice. This study will collect both qualitative and quantitative data at multiple time points to document the role of in-school networks as new teachers adapt to their first few years of teaching. Eight raters will conduct observations of all novice teachers twice a year for two years. Investigators will also collect teachers’ lesson plans, one significant math task used during the lesson, and student work samples related to the math task as a supplement to the observations. Teachers, administrators, math coaches, and mentors will be surveyed.