Essential to its understanding of best practices in professional development, Primary Source conducts rigorous evaluations and annual surveys, adds exemplary curriculum units to The Clara Hicks Resource Library, and collects reports from curriculum leaders in its partnership districts.
In addition, Primary Source:
- examines and synthesizes pre- and end-of-program profiles for each teacher relating to his/her knowledge and practices;
- solicits feedback daily from teachers on the program's strengths and weaknesses;
- collects and analyzes evaluations conducted immediately upon completion and then one year after the course to help determine success in achieving program objectives;
- collects reports from partnership districts concluding each academic year, for documenting how teachers have applied the content knowledge and teaching strategies learned in seminars to their classrooms; and
- evaluates teacher-produced, written curriculum units according to a rubric created by Primary Source for this purpose.
2006 Evaluation of Ten Years of China Programs
In 2006, the independent evaluation firm InSites conducted an independent evaluation of 10 years of Primary Source's China programs (1995-2005). The evaluation shows that the organization's strategies have produced significant results.
Among other findings, an estimated 330,000 students have been taught about China by teachers who participated in Primary Source programs. Additionally, the evaluation found that:
- Over 2,250 teachers and administrators from 150 school districts in New England have participated in the core China programs.
- Participating teachers have increased their teaching about China, on average from 14 to 36 hours per year, since they became involved with Primary Source.
- 87% of participating teachers have incorporated new China content into existing curriculum and 74% have created new curriculum on China.
The report is available here as a PDF file.