This is part two of EdReports 2022 State of the Instructional Materials Market Report. Don’t miss part one of the series, which covers the rise in the use of aligned materials and potential contributing factors.
Having high-quality instructional materials in schools is as important as ever. The significant struggles students have faced in mathematics and reading following the COVID-19 pandemic only adds to the urgency of ensuring teachers have access to content that can support students to learn and grow. Professional learning serves as a primary avenue for schools to enhance teaching and learning, and there is a growing body of evidence that this learning is most effective when it is curriculum-focused.
Implementing high-quality instructional materials in an environment with supportive leadership—along with ongoing coaching, and professional learning—amplifies the likelihood of the materials being used with integrity. Unfortunately, this is not the experience teachers report having.
Nearly a quarter of teachers say they have no curriculum-related professional learning at all, and almost a third have access to only 1–5 hours of learning per year. When teachers do participate in professional learning sessions, they often don’t feel satisfied with the learning they receive. Half of teachers do not feel that their professional learning prepared them to use their district curriculum. Also, because nearly one-third of all teachers have only been using their curriculum for three years or less, it’s clear that focused professional learning opportunities centered around materials implementation is an urgent need.
This new report underscores the importance for schools and districts to meaningfully invest in high-quality instructional materials and the necessary professional learning to implement them well. The analyses draw on data from EdReports reviews and the RAND Corporation’s American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS). The findings delve into the ways teachers are using required materials, the importance of professional learning in supporting teachers to use materials well, teachers’ perceptions of their materials, and who they seek and prefer to seek assistance from in addressing perceived inadequacies in curriculum.