Population Education, March 2024

Written by Pamela Wasserman, Senior Vice President for Education, and Lindsey Bailey, Education Network Director | Published: March 11, 2024

Measuring PopEd’s Impact: Results From Our Biennial Evaluation

Now in its 50th year, the PopEd program continues to build relationships with new and veteran teachers across the U.S. and Canada through workshops and webinars led by our staff and members of our Teacher Training Network. Last summer, we surveyed participants of these events from the prior two years (2021 and 2022) to assess the impact our work is having on these teachers and their students. Below are some highlights of that evaluation project. The entire report and a shorter summary can be found here.

Over the two-year survey period, we trained 20,017 K-12 educators through 1,114 workshops in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and six Canadian provinces. Sessions were held for student teachers at colleges and universities, and for current teachers at conferences and professional development events run by school districts and the College Board (for AP teachers). Our data is based on responses to nearly 500 surveys returned in June 2023. In 2021, 83% of our training sessions took place online, due to the pandemic. In 2022, this proportion was reduced to 47%, as more events were able to be scheduled in person.

Workshop experience

Whether participating in person or online, educators rated our workshops highly compared to professional development sessions from other organizations. Nine out of 10 educators considered PopEd workshops “superior” or “above average” in terms of content, usefulness, and presentation quality. Similar scores were given for how well the curriculum integrates into their teaching and for the quality of our virtual delivery methods.

“I have been to both face-to-face and online workshops — both were excellent, well organized, engaging, and timely — emphasis on contemporary topics and pedagogy — THANK YOU!”

About half of PopEd workshops take place in teacher preparation courses. Education faculty, who invite PopEd facilitators to present in their classes, indicated being very satisfied with their workshop experiences — 100% of surveyed professors rated the quality of the presentations as “exemplary” or “above average,” and all responded “very well” or “well” when asked how the workshops fit their course syllabi and state content standards.

Teaching materials and classroom use

PopEd classroom resources reliably receive positive reviews from educators. A full 98% of survey respondents rated the materials presented at their workshops as “excellent” (59%) or “good” (39%).

“PopEd’s teaching materials are well thought out and clearly explained, making them easy to integrate into classwork, either as a stand-alone lesson or as a complete unit of work.”

Teachers reported using an average of three PopEd lessons with their students in social studies (43%), science (38%), math (10%), and language arts (7%). Two-thirds of respondents indicated using PopEd lessons two or more times during the school year.

Educators who use our materials reported working with an average of 64 students each annually. They confirmed that the PopEd lessons effectively engaged their students and promoted increased awareness of population issues. Teachers also noted students’ improvements in important skills like critical thinking and problem solving.

For more information about our teacher workshops, visit PopulationEducation.org.

Contact Pam: pwasserman@popconnect.org
Contact Lindsey: lbailey@popconnect.org