Cover: Using Structured Classroom Vignettes to Measure Instructional Practices in Mathematics

Using Structured Classroom Vignettes to Measure Instructional Practices in Mathematics

Published Feb 8, 2006

by Brian M. Stecher, Vi-Nhuan Le, Laura S. Hamilton, Gery W. Ryan, Abby Robyn, J. R. Lockwood

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Large-scale educational studies frequently require accurate descriptions of classroom practices to judge implementation and impact. However, such descriptions are difficult to obtain in a timely, efficient manner. To address this problem, we developed a vignette-based measure of one aspect of mathematics instructional practice, reform-oriented instruction. Teachers read contextualized descriptions of teaching practices that varied in terms of reform-oriented instruction and rated the degree to which the options corresponded to their own likely behaviors. Responses from 80 fourth-grade teachers yielded fairly consistent responses across two parallel vignettes and moderate correlations with other scales of reform-oriented instruction derived from classroom observations, surveys and logs. The results suggested that the vignettes are measuring important aspects of reform-oriented instruction that are not captured by other measurement methods. Based on this work, it appears that vignettes can be a useful tool for research on instructional practice, but cognitive interviews with participating teachers provided insight into possible improvements to the items.

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Education.

This report is part of the RAND working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.