Design, Validation, and Dissemination of Measures of Content Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics (ICPSR 33421)

Published: Jul 16, 2013

Principal Investigator(s):
Heather Hill, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan; Hyman Bass, University of Michigan; Geoffrey Phelps, University of Michigan; Merrie Blunk, University of Michigan

Version V1

Learning Math for Teaching (LMT)

Measuring Mathematical Knowledge of Teaching (MATHM) Study

This study spans several years of data collection by the Learning Mathematics for Teaching (LMT) project. This project's main purpose was to develop a suite of instruments measuring K-8 teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT). These instruments are typically used to evaluate content-focused mathematics professional development. Over the years, this project piloted these measures in several contexts to establish psychometric properties of the instruments:

  • With a nationally representative sample of middle school mathematics teachers in 2005 and again in 2006. The same sample was surveyed at both time points.
  • With a nationally representative sample of elementary school teachers in 2008.
  • With smaller samples of grade 4-8 teachers on specific mathematical topics (e.g., a form on rational number, a form on proportional reasoning).

The specific research questions varied with the sample. For the later pilots, we were interested in the psychometric properties of the measures and teacher scores' relationship to other teacher characteristics, such as their mathematical background and years of experience.

Hill, Heather, Loewenberg Ball, Deborah, Bass, Hyman, Phelps, Geoffrey, and Blunk, Merrie. Design, Validation, and Dissemination of Measures of Content Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-07-16.

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National Science Foundation (NSF REC-0207649, NSF EHR-0335411, NSF EHR-0535816 )


This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited.

Restricted Use Files: To protect respondent privacy, ID variables have been obscured in addition to the removal of geographically identifying variables. Other variables may have been re-categorized to prevent identification of unique cases. Access to parts of this study requires a signed User Agreement. To obtain the file(s), researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of the Restricted Data Use Agreement, found via ICPSR's online restricted data contracting system, by clicking the "apply online for access to the data" link.

2005 -- 2008

The effort to design survey items measuring teachers' knowledge for teaching mathematics grew out of the unique needs of the Study of Instructional Improvement (SII). SII is investigating the design and enactment of three leading whole school reforms and these reforms' effects on students' academic and social performance.

Lesli Scott at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) oversaw the data collection from 2005-2008.

All instruments have been copyrighted: Copyright (C) 2007 The Regents of the University of Michigan. For information, questions, or permission requests please contact Merrie Blunk, Learning Mathematics for Teaching, 734-615-7632. Not for reproduction or use without written consent of LMT. Measures development supported by NSF grants REC-9979873, REC-0207649, EHR-0233456, and EHR-0335411, and by a subcontract to CPRE on Department of Education (DOE), Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) award #R308A960003.

These measures cannot be used to evaluate individual teachers for tenure, pay, hiring, or any other use with high-stakes consequence. These measures have not been validated for this purpose.

Varies by sample. 2005-6 Middle School Pilot: Middle school teachers of mathematics; 2008 Elementary School Pilot: Elementary teachers of mathematics; 2007 and 2008 topic-specific pilots: Grades 4-8 teachers of mathematics. Please see the Data Books for specific sampling information.


administrative records data

survey data

mail questionnaire

on-site questionnaire

Varies. Please see the Data Books for response rate information.

Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching instruments



2013-07-16 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Varies. Please see the Data Books for weight documentation.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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Education Research Data Sharing Initiative

This study is maintained and distributed by The Education Research Data Sharing Initiative: an AERA-ICPSR Partnership, a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).