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Making Sense of the Links: Professional Development, Teacher Practices, and Student Achievement


This paper examines the links between professional development, teacher practice and subsequent student mathematics and reading achievement. Reviews of literature pointed to the lack of research on the links from teacher professional development through teacher practice to student achievement (Supovitz, 2001; Wayne & Youngs, 2003; Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001). This study demonstrates not only that it is possible to include these elements in a single model, but also that the effects of professional development on teacher practice are small to moderate, with very small but occasionally significant indirect effects on student outcomes.