Professional Learning Standards’ Association With Teacher Instruction and Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis
Using meta-analysis to understand professional learning standards.
Read the results of the GTL Center's systematic review and meta-analysis of the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning to better understand the relationship between the standards and teacher and student outcomes.
Conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to understand how evidence of the Learning Forward Professional Learning Standards in professional learning programs is associated with teacher instruction and student achievement outcomes.
The GTL Center found consistent evidence that program alignment with the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning is associated with improved teacher instruction and student achievement outcomes. Investments in professional learning can yield meaningful improvements in student achievement, and the benefits for students come through improvements in instruction.
Rachel Garrett, GTL Center Project Lead
Qi Zhang, GTL Project Support
Martyna Citkowicz, GTL Project Support
Lauren Burr, GTL Project Support, American Institutes for Ressearch
While developing their revised Standards for Professional Learning, Learning Forward requested a rigorous review of evidence as part of the information that would guide their work, accompanied by input from field-based stakeholders. The GTL Center examined research on both prior and newly revised standards to understand how the standards were associated with teacher and student outcomes. Together, the GTL Center and Learning Forward asked:
- What is the evidence for how PD programs that contain elements aligned to the 2011 Standards or Areas for Deeper Exploration are associated with changes in teacher instruction and student learning?
- What is the evidence for how PD programs that contain elements aligned to the 2022 Standards are associated with changes in teacher instruction and student learning?
- What does the evidence indicate about the extent to which changes in instruction mediate changes in student learning?
The GTL Center conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to address the research questions. The meta-analysis included 48 studies and 52 teacher professional learning programs, published between 2010 and 2020.
Step #1: Literature Search
Conduct a systematic literature search to find studies that involve randomized field trials of teacher professional learning published between 2010 and 2020.
Step #2: Study Coding
Read the descriptions of all programs involved in the studies and determine whether they demonstrated evidence of the Learning Forward standards (with consensus among coders).
Step #3: Effect Size Computation
Convert the study findings into effect sizes to create a common metric for the study outcome findings across the various types of outcome measures the studies used.
Step #4: Analysis
Employ mixed-effects meta-regression models to examine teacher and student outcomes and to investigate how effects differ based on the presence of the professional learning standards.
The GTL Center's analysis provided actionable evidence to inform Learning Forward and its stakeholders. Along the way, Learning Forward and the GTL Center partnered closely to first understand the research evidence in support of the 2011 standards, which Learning Forward could than draw from while drafting the revised 2022 standards. In addition, the findings from this work have contributed to Learning Forward's research agenda that will guide priorities for the field in the coming years. For example, the meta-analysis underscored the need for more randomized field studies on the broader context of teacher professional learning program implementation and teacher professional learning that addresses equity.
To learn more about the project's outcomes, download: How Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning Are Associated With Teacher Instruction and Student Achievement: A Meta Analysis