Evaluators were asked to rate each lesson on specific indicators within five components of classroom practice: the quality of the lesson design; how well it was implemented; the quality of the science/mathematics content; the classroom culture; and the extent to which the lesson will enhance student capacity to engage in science and mathematics. Highlights of these ratings are described below.
Design
Table 17 shows the percent of observed lessons in Cohort 1 science, Cohort 2 science, and Cohort 2 mathematics classes that received high ratings (4 or 5 on a fivepoint scale) in each of a number of indicators within the design category. Note that the Cohort 1 science lessons, taught by teachers who had participated in LSC professional development, were more likely than the baseline Cohort 2 science lessons to receive high ratings on several design indicators: appropriateness of strategies for the purposes of the lesson; encouraging a collaborative approach to learning, and incorporating tasks, roles, and interactions, consistent with inquiry.
Baseline mathematics lessons had design ratings similar to baseline science lessons in some areas (encouraging collaboration, and incorporating inquiry strategies). They were rated as highly as Cohort 1 science lessons in appropriateness of strategies for accomplishing the purposes of the lesson, and higher than either of the science cohorts in the extent to which the instructional strategies appeared to meet the varied needs and learning styles of students.
Table 17
Lessons Rated 4 or 5 on Design Indicators

Percent of Lessons 

Cohort 1 Science 
Cohort 2 Science 
Cohort 2 Mathematics 
Strategies contributed to accomplishing purposes  60  46  56 
Design encouraged collaborative approach  48  36  32 
Design incorporated tasks, roles consistent with inquiry  46  21  16 
Strategies appeared to meet varied student needs/learning styles  41  46  57 
Figure 47 shows evaluators' holistic ratings of the design of the observed science and mathematics lessons. Note that Cohort 1 science lessons were considerably more likely to receive high ratings in the overall design than either baseline science or mathematics lessons.
Lessons with High Ratings for DesignFigure 47
Implementation
The percent of lessons receiving high ratings on each of a number of indicators of the quality of implementation is shown in Table 18. Note that the majority of teachers in each group were seen as confident in their ability to teach their subject. In contrast, relatively few teachers in any group received high marks for the extent to which their questioning strategies encouraged students' conceptual understanding.
Classes taught by LSCparticipating teachers were considerably more likely than others to receive high ratings for incorporating inquirybased strategies, into their instruction, while the Cohort 2 mathematics lessons received higher ratings than either science group on the appropriateness of the lesson pace.
Table 18Lessons Rated 4 or 5 on Implementation Indicators

Percent of Lessons 

Cohort 1 Science 
Cohort 2 Science 
Cohort 2 Mathematics 
Teacher appeared confident  67  64  72 
Pace of lesson was appropriate  46  52  59 
Teacher attended effectively to student prior conceptions  40  45  34 
Strategies consistent with inquiry  40  27  24 
Questioning strategies enhanced conceptual understanding  32  20  30 
Overall, onethird of the observed lessons received high marks (4 or 5) on implementation, including 28 percent of baseline science classes, 38 percent of baseline mathematics classes, and 41 percent of classes taught by teachers who had participated in LSC professional development. (See Figure 48.)
Lessons with High Ratings for ImplementationFigure 48
Content
As can be seen in Table 19, Cohort 1 science lessons were more likely than baseline science lessons to receive high ratings in each of the indicators of content quality. Differences were most pronounced for content accuracy and the extent to which concepts and processes were balanced appropriately.
Baseline mathematics lessons had content ratings similar to baseline science lessons in some content indicators, including appropriateness, balance of concepts and processes, and the extent to which the subject was portrayed as inquiry. Ratings on relevance and accuracy of content and the quality of the lesson closure were more similar to those of Cohort 1 science lessons.
Table 19
Lessons Rated 4 or 5 on Content Indicators

Percent of Lessons 

Cohort 1 Science 
Cohort 2 Science 
Cohort 2 Mathematics 
Teacherpresented information was accurate  86  70  84 
Content appropriate for purposes of lesson  66  56  69 
Content relevant to student needs/interests  66  56  68 
Connections made to realworld applications  52  40  48 
Concepts and processes appropriately balanced  45  31  32 
Degree of closure appropriate  38  30  29 
Science/mathematics portrayed as inquiry  37  30  21 
Overall, 35 percent of baseline science classes, 38 percent of baseline mathematics classes, and 46 percent of Cohort 1 science classes received ratings of 4 or 5 for content. (See Figure 49.)
Lessons with High Ratings for ContentFigure 49
Classroom Culture
Evaluator ratings of a number of indicators related to classroom culture are shown in Table 20. Roughly twothirds of the observed teachers in each Cohort received high marks for encouraging the active participation of all students. Other aspects of the classroom culture were not rated as highly, especially for baseline science and mathematics classes. For example, while evaluators assigned ratings of 4 or 5 to 55 percent of Cohort 1 science lessons for reflecting "collaborative working relationships among students," only 38 percent of Cohort 2 science lessons and 28 percent of Cohort 2 mathematics lessons were rated that highly.
Table 20
Lessons Rated 4 or 5 on Classroom Culture Indicators

Percent of Lessons 

Cohort 1 Science 
Cohort 2 Science 
Cohort 2 Mathematics 
Encourage active participation of all  70  65  68 
Room arrangement facilitated interaction  67  50  54 
Collaborative working relationship between students and teachers  63  44  52 
High expectations for all students  60  56  55 
Collaborative working relationship among students  55  38  28 
Student ideas/conjectures encouraged  49  34  40 
Students intellectually engaged with important ideas  48  37  33 
Intellectual rigor and challenging of ideas encouraged  35  30  24 
Overall, 32 percent of the observed lessons were rated at a level 4 or 5 for classroom culture, including 30 percent of baseline science lessons, 26 percent of baseline mathematics lessons, and 46 percent of Cohort 1 science lessons. (See Figure 50.)
Lessons with High Ratings for Classroom CultureFigure 50
Enhancing the Ability of Students to Successfully Engage in Science and Mathematics
The final set of ratings on the classroom observation protocol asked evaluators to consider all of their previous ratings in assessing the likelihood that the lesson would enhance the ability of students. A number of key areas were specified, including understanding key science and mathematics concepts, understanding the nature of inquiry, being able to generalize their learning to reallife situations, and becoming selfdirected learners. While evaluators often rated individual components of the lessons highly, their summary judgments of the likely impact of the lessons were generally less positive. For example, only 35 percent of the Cohort 1 science lessons, and even fewer Cohort 2 science and mathematics lessons, received high marks for the likelihood of enhancing students' understanding of the nature of inquiry. (See Table 21.)
Table 21
Lessons Rated 4 or 5 on Indicators of Enhancing Student Ability

Percent of Lessons 

Cohort 1 Science 
Cohort 2 Science 
Cohort 2 Mathematics 
Increase ability to become selfdirected learners  41  30  39 
Enhance conceptual understanding  39  29  38 
Increase ability to apply knowledge to reallife situations  35  31  24 
Enhance understanding of nature of inquiry  35  22  27 
Overall, 27 percent of the observed lessons were rated a 4 or 5 in this area, including 23 percent of baseline science classes, 30 percent of baseline mathematics classes, and 36 percent of science classes taught by teachers who had participated in LSC professional development. (See Figure 51.)
Lessons with High Ratings for Likely to Enhance Student AbilityFigure 51
Overall Ratings of Observed Classes
As the final step in completing the observation protocol, evaluators were asked to indicate the "level" that best described each lesson they observed. Table 22 shows the percent of lessons in each Cohort considered effective instruction, beginning stages of effective instruction, and ineffective instruction. The shaded boxes contain examples of lessons that were assigned to each of these categories. Note that only 32 percent of Cohort 1 science lessons were rated as effective instruction, quite close to the 27 percent of Cohort 2 science lessons and 29 percent of Cohort 2 mathematics lessons that were rated that highly. The major difference between Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 science lessons is at the lower end of the scale, with lessons of treated teachers more likely to be considered in the beginning stages of effective instruction and less likely to be considered ineffective in structure.
Table 22
Overall Ratings of Observed Classes

Percent of Lessons 

Cohort 1 Science 
Cohort 2 Science 
Cohort 2 Mathematics 
Effective Instruction  32  27  29 
Beginning stages of effective instruction  45  36  54 
Ineffective Instruction  29  37  17 
Teacher questionnaires and classroom observations provide a consistent picture of science and mathematics instruction in LSC districts. Teacher presentations are common, especially in mathematics classes, where 91 percent of teachers report presenting content information at least once a week and 89 percent of observed lessons included a formal presentation by the teacher. Handson and other investigative activities are also fairly common, with the majority of teachers in each group reporting that their classes do handson activities at least weekly, and most observed lessons including some kind of handson/investigative activity.
As is the case nationally, most teachers in LSC districts teach mathematics on a daily basis, but only about 1 in 4 has a science lesson each day. Instruction in these subjects has different emphases, as well. Mathematics lessons are more likely than science lessons to focus on reviewing concepts, using what has been learned to solve "realworld problems," having students explain concepts to one another and supply evidence to support their claims, and homework review. Science lessons are more likely than mathematics lessons to emphasize identifying prior student conceptions and developing conceptual understanding and more likely to use openended questions and have students write their reflections in a notebook or journal.
Cohort 1 science lessons, taught by teachers who had participated in LSC professional development, generally were more likely than baseline science or mathematics lessons to receive high ratings on lesson design, content, and implementation, as well as the quality of the classroom culture. Cohort 1 lessons were rated particularly high on the extent to which:
However, when considering the lesson as a whole, evaluators were equally likely to give high ratings to baseline science and mathematics lessons as to science lessons taught by teachers who had participated in LSC professional development.