Study of Feedback for Teachers Based on Classroom Videos

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

A teacher’s first year in the classroom can be challenging, and districts may struggle to support new teachers in their first years on the job. Evidence from recent studies suggests that observing teachers and providing individualized feedback may be a particularly promising approach for improving teacher effectiveness.

Building on our long history of studying how teachers are prepared for, supported, and perform in the classroom, this evaluation is examining whether video-based observations and feedback help novice and early career teachers enhance classroom practices and student achievement. In the first year, 300 novice (first-year) teachers from 10 districts will be randomly assigned to a group that (1) receives video-based observations with written feedback, (2) receives video-based observation and intensive feedback from a coach, or (3) receives neither intervention and serves as the control group. In the following year, we will randomly assign approximately 200 early career teachers (those in their second to fourth years) from the same districts to either receive the video-based observations with intensive feedback from a coach or to a control group. The study will also examine the degree to which the interventions are delivered as intended, which is critical to translating evidence-based interventions into practice.

Mathematica is leading this study for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Our partners on the evaluation include WestEd, Decision Information Resources, Clowder Consulting, Pemberton Research, IRIS Connect, Educopia, and Suzanne Wilson from the University of Connecticut.