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How to best teach critical thinking

August 15, 2019

How to teach critical thinking.  Despite consensus on the need for critical thinking, considerable debate exists over how it is learned and, how educators can best support students to develop critical thinking capabilities. This paper considers what the research can tell us about how critical thinking is acquired, and the implications for how education might best develop young people’s critical thinking capabilities.

Willingham recommends a four-step process to develop a program to teach critical thinking:

  • identify a list of critical thinking skills for each subject domain;
  • identify subject matter content for each domain;
  • plan the sequence in which knowledge and skills should be taught;
  • plan which knowledge and skills should be revisited across years.

Citation: Willingham, D. (2019). How to teach critical thinking. New South Wales (NSW) Department of Education.

Linkhttps://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2019/06/apo-nid244676-1369771.pdf

 


 

Latest Data on Characteristics of Public (traditional), Charter, and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States

August 15, 2019

Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States: Results From the 2017–18 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look.  The National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) collects data from public and private K-12 schools, principals, and teachers across the United States.  Its data provides critical data on core topics such as school characteristics and services, principal and teacher demographics, and teacher preparation.  The most recent 2017-18 report examined public (traditional), charter, and private schools in terms of their participation in the federal free or reduced-price lunch programs (FRLP), special education, English-language learners (ELLs) or limited-English proficient (LEP), extended school days, school start times, special emphasis schools, and minutes of instruction. One of the takeaways from the data is that public (traditional) and charter schools have almost identical statistics in these categories.  Included in this data are the following:  

  • Approximately 12% of all K-12 students have IEPs or formally identified disabilities: public (traditional) 13% schools, charter schools 11%, and private schools 7.5%.  Ten percent of all K-12 students required ELL/LEP services: public (traditional) 10.6% schools, charter schools 10.2%, and private schools 2.6%.
  • The majority of public schools (96.6% of traditional public schools and 83.6% of charter schools) participated in the FLRP, with over half of all students receiving these services (55% of total students in each). Private schools were much less likely to participate, with only 18.8% of private schools and 8.7% of the served population receiving FRLP.   

Citation:  Taie, S., and Goldring, R. (2019). Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States: Results From the 201718 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look (NCES 2019-140). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. 

Link:  https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019140.pdf

 


 

Which evidence-based behavior management practices support ethnically–racially diverse students?

August 15, 2019

Classroom management for ethnic–racial minority students: A meta-analysis of single-case design studies. This meta-analysis research looks at behavior management practices implemented with ethnically and racially diverse students. It examines single-subject designed studies implemented at the whole class level. Results indicate that class-wide management approaches applied in diverse classrooms are heavily behavioral and highly effective in improving student behavior.

Citation: Long, A. C., Miller, F. G., & Upright, J. J. (2019). Classroom management for ethnic–racial minority students: A meta-analysis of single-case design studies. School Psychology34(1), 1.

Link: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-65318-001

 


 

Which strategies for increasing students’ opportunities to respond produce the best results?

August 15, 2019

Teacher-Delivered Strategies to Increase Students’ Opportunities to Respond: A Systematic Methodological Review. This systematic review of the literature examines the evidence behind teacher-directed strategies to increase students’ opportunities to respond (OTR) during whole-group instruction. The results indicate teacher-directed OTR strategy of response cards in K-12 school settings to be a potentially evidence-based practice according to the Council for Exceptional Children’s Standards for Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education standards.

Citation: Common, E. A., Lane, K. L., Cantwell, E. D., Brunsting, N. C., Oakes, W. P., Germer, K. A., & Bross, L. A. (2019). Teacher-delivered strategies to increase students’ opportunities to respond: A systematic methodological review. Behavioral Disorders, 0198742919828310.

Linkhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0198742919828310

 


 

Which teaching practices produce the best elementary school writers.

August 15, 2019

Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers: A Practice Guide. This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide examines the research on how teaching elementary students how to write. The report analyzes the evidence supporting those teaching methods commonly employed to increase student competency in becoming a fluent writer. The guide is for teachers, literacy coaches, principals, districts, and curriculum developers, and other educators. The paper summarizes the available research and provides recommendations on the types of activities and strategies teachers can use to increase student writing proficiency. 

Citation: Graham, S., Bollinger, A., Olson, C. B., D’Aoust, C., MacArthur, C., McCutchen, D., & Olinghouse, N. (2012). Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers: A Practice Guide. NCEE 2012-4058. What Works Clearinghouse.

Linkhttps://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED533112.pdf

 


 

Teacher Retention Overview (Wing Institute Original Paper)

August 6, 2019

Teacher turnover has been a persistent challenge; while the national rate has hovered at 16% in recent decades, more teachers are leaving the profession, contributing to teacher shortages in hard-to-staff subjects and schools. Higher attrition rates coupled with disproportionate teacher movement away from schools in economically disadvantaged communities has resulted in inequitable distributions of high-quality teachers across schools. Teacher turnover is quite costly, and primarily has negative consequences for school operations, staff collegiality, and student learning. Turnover rates are highest among minority teachers working in high-need schools, beginning teachers, and those who are alternatively certified; higher rates are also found for those teaching math, science, and English as a foreign language, and for special education teachers. Teachers are less likely to be retained in schools with poor working conditions, particularly those led by principals perceived to be less effective, and in schools where they are paid less. Teacher retention may be improved with combinations of targeted financial incentives and improved working conditions (e.g., better principal preparation), and through better supports for early career teachers through effective induction and mentoring programs. Linking financial incentives with enhanced leadership opportunities and career paths also offer potential for retaining effective teachers in classrooms where they are most needed. 

Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R., & States, J. (2019). Teacher Retention. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/quality-teachers-retention

Link:  https://www.winginstitute.org/quality-teachers-retention

 


 

Looking at cost effective means to deliver classroom management training to teachers

July 30, 2019

The Effects of Targeted Professional Development on Teachers’ Use of Empirically Supported Classroom Management Practices. Research suggests teachers want and need to improve classroom management skills. Studies also find that teachers currently receive limited training and support in this critical area of instruction. This study examines brief, targeted professional development (brief training, email prompting, and self-management) to improve teacher classroom management skills. The training focused on increasing the effective use of prompting, increased active student responding, and delivery of praise. The results show that teachers increased their prompt and specific praise rates while they actively engaged in training. However, the effects of professional development did not maintain when training shifted to a new skill.

Citation: Simonsen, B., Freeman, J., Myers, D., Dooley, K., Maddock, E., Kern, L., & Byun, S. (2019). The Effects of Targeted Professional Development on Teachers’ Use of Empirically Supported Classroom Management Practices. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 1098300719859615.

Linkhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1098300719859615

 


 

Do later school starting times offer a cost-effective method for improving student performance?

July 29, 2019

Answering the Bell: High School Start Times and Student Academic Outcomes. Research in the area of health and sleep has encouraged educators and policymakers to look to delaying school starting times as an intervention with the potential to improve achievement and other relevant student outcomes. At this time, studies conducted on starting school days at a later time show mixed results. Although, a sufficient number of studies exist to suggest that moving back the start time of school can contribute to improving lagging student performance. This research finds starting school later is associated with reduced suspensions and higher course grades. These studies suggest disadvantaged students may especially benefit from delayed starting times. This study attempts to fill in the research gap on the topic of later start times as much of the earlier research has been conducted using small sample sizes. To increase the sample size needed to confirm previous research, Bastin and Fuller use statewide student-level data from North Carolina to estimate start time effects for all students and traditionally disadvantaged students. Statewide achievement results were mixed, with positive and negative associations found between start times and high school students’ test scores. Bastin and Fuller counsel for further research to increase confidence that later start times predictably produce desired outcomes.  Studies of sufficient rigor, using multiple populations, and across different settings are required to address reaming issues and possible unintended consequences associated with changing start times.  

Citation: Bastian, K. C., & Fuller, S. C. (2018). Answering the Bell: High School Start Times and Student Academic Outcomes. AERA Open4(4), 2332858418812424.

Linkhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2332858418812424

 


 

How effective are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) interventions?

July 29, 2019

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders and Classroom-Based Interventions: Evidence-Based Status, Effectiveness, and Moderators of Effects in Single-Case Design Research. Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) traditionally struggle academically and behaviorally. The issues associated with ADHD challenge teachers in meeting the needs of these students. This meta-analysis of single-case design studies evaluates intervention effectiveness, evidence-based status, and moderators of effects for four intervention types (behavioral, instructional, self-management, and environmental) when implemented with students with ADHD in classroom settings. This study suggests that interventions that target academic learning strategies and behavioral challenges produced medium effect sizes. The instructional and self-management interventions examined in this study were deemed as evidence-based by What Works Clearinghouse standards.

Citation: Harrison, J. R., Soares, D. A., Rudzinski, S., & Johnson, R. (2019). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders and Classroom-Based Interventions: Evidence-Based Status, Effectiveness, and Moderators of Effects in Single-Case Design Research. Review of Educational Research, 0034654319857038.

Linkhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0034654319857038

 


 

How can peers increase prosocial behavior in a High School classroom?

July 23, 2019

Tootling with a Randomized Independent Group Contingency to Improve High School Class-wide Behavior. Finding strategies and interventions to positively reinforce students for appropriate behavior while decreasing disruptive behavior is core to the effective management of a classroom. This paper examines the practice of “tootling.” Tootling is a peer-mediated classroom management practice designed to have students identify and then report on peer prosocial behavior. Students are taught to be on the look-out for peer behavior that met the criterion for being reinforced. When they witness prosocial behavior, they write it down on a piece of paper and turn it into the teacher. At the end of the class, three “tootles” are drawn from the lot and read out to the classroom. The results suggest that peer reinforcement had a positive impact on increasing appropriate student behavior, reducing disruptive conduct, and student engagement.

Citation: Lum, J. D., Radley, K. C., Tingstrom, D. H., Dufrene, B. A., Olmi, D. J., & Wright, S. J. (2019). Tootling With a Randomized Independent Group Contingency to Improve High School Classwide Behavior. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions21(2), 93-105.

Linkhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1098300718792663