Peter Halpin and Michael Kieffer Receive Grant to Study Teacher Effectiveness

Assistant Professor Peter Halpin (Humanities and Social Sciences) and Associate Professor Michael J. Kieffer (Teaching and Learning) have received a MET Early Career Research Grant from The University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and the National Academy of Education.  The grant provides researchers $25,000 and access to Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Longitudinal Database, a resource for studying issues related to designing fairer and reliable methods for measuring teacher effectiveness.

Halpin and Kieffer’s study, ‘Teaching Practices to Accommodate Individual Differences in Middle School English Language Arts,’ seeks to identify specific teaching practices that are effective for a range of middle school ELA (English Language Arts) students, and to  learn whether a subgroup of struggling students benefit from different kinds of teaching practices.  The research is based on a novel approach to the value-added assessment of teacher effectiveness and has implications for the validity of observational measures of teachers’ in-classroom conduct.

The Met Project, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was a research partnership between 3,000 teacher volunteers in seven school districts and dozens of independent research teams. The data includes thousands of hours of classroom video, collected during two school years beginning in fall 2009. The William T. Grant Foundation and the Spencer Foundation provided funding for the Early Career Research Grant.