Categories for Quality Teachers
October 7, 2019
Decades of data attest to high rates of teacher turnover. Almost half of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years. For the past 10 years, turnover has leveled off at a disconcerting 16% per year. High turnover impedes student performance and diverts resources away from efforts to improve schools. It places large numbers of inexperienced, less effective teachers in classrooms, resulting in increased recruiting, hiring, and training budgets. With effective retention, the United States could save a meaningful portion of the $2.2 billion spent annually on replacing teachers. Research shows that increases in teacher turnover consistently correspond with decreases in achievement in core academic subjects. Attrition disproportionately affects schools with the greatest needs, low-achieving and high-poverty schools. Chronic turnover also negatively impacts a school’s culture, increasing student disciplinary problems and principal turnover. It damages collegiality, adding chaos and complexity to schoolwide operations and perpetuating new cycles of turnover. Effective interventions can remediate this situation, but they require administrators’ long-term commitment to improve the learning environment and working conditions.
Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R, Keyworth, R., & States, J. (2019). Teacher Turnover Impact. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-retention-turnover
September 27, 2019
Visible Learning Insights. This book by John Hattie and Klaus Zierer is written for teachers, education researchers, and anyone interested in the latest research on the efficacy of education practices. This research offers an overview of 1,400 meta-analyses and continues to build on the work John Hattie began with his book, Visible Learning, published over a decade ago that provided educators with a synthesis of 800 meta-analyses.
Citation: Hattie, J., & Zierer, K. (2019). Visible Learning Insights. Routledge.
September 26, 2019
What Is My Next Step? School Students’ Perceptions of Feedback. The power of feedback is touted as one of the most powerful practices for improving performance. Research consistently reports large effect sizes for feedback improving performance, yet variability relating to the effects of feedback exists. The Kluger and DeNisi 1996 meta-analysis was one such study that found a medium 0.41 effect size for the general impact of feedback. What Kluger and DeNisi found was that not all feedback is alike. This 2019 study attempts to increase our knowledge base by examining the power of different forms of feedback as a means to increase the impact of teacher delivered feedback. The paper aims to investigate student perceptions of feedback through designing a student feedback perception questionnaire (SFPQ) based on a conceptual model of feedback. The questionnaire was used to collect data about the helpfulness for learning resulting from different feedback types and levels. Findings from this study demonstrate that the SPFQ tool partially affirms Hattie and Timperely’s (2007) conceptual model of feedback. Feeding forward (information about improvement) was found to be a unique feedback type that was perceived by participants as being most helpful to learning compared to other feedback.
Citation: Brooks, C., Huang, Y., Hattie, J., Carroll, A., & Burton, R. (2019). What is my next step? School students’ perceptions of feedback. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 4, p. 96). Frontiers.
September 3, 2019
Research on informal teacher evaluation reveals the predominant evaluation method is the walk-though, which ranges from a brief 2- to 3-minute snapshot to longer observation. Studies support the important role principals play in instructional leadership but also suggest that principals are not good at identifying which teachers are the best instructors. Research finds that principals overwhelmingly understand the need to sample teacher performance but that they are rarely trained in how to accomplish this.
Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., & States, J. (2019). Informal Teacher Evaluation. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. Retrieved from https://www.winginstitute.org/staff-informal.
August 27, 2019
Matching the availability of teachers to demand constantly evolves. During recessions schools are forced to layoff teachers. As economic times improve, schools acquire resources and rehire personnel. Currently, American schools are faced with the most severe shortages in special education; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and bilingual education. Shortages vary across the country and are most acute in areas with lower wages and in poor schools. Starting in the 1980’s schools began filling vacancies with under-qualified personnel hired on emergency or temporary credentials to meet needs. A 35% drop in pre-service enrollment and high teacher attrition currently impact the supply. Candidates and veteran teachers are influenced to leave teaching due to low compensation, stressful working conditions, and a perceived decline in respect. The demand side is influenced primarily by fluctuations in population, finances, and education policy. Matching supply to demand is a challenge but can be accomplished through better planning, procuring less volatile funding sources, and improving working conditions through improved pay and effective training.
Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R. Keyworth, R., & States, J., (2019). Teacher Retention Analysis Overview. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-retention-turnover-analysis.
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.
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.
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
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.
May 29, 2019
An Investigation of Concurrent Validity of Fidelity of Implementation Measures at Initial Years of Implementation. Much of the effectiveness of newly introduced educational practices is lost within 18 months after introducing the method in the classroom. Understanding why practices with solid research fail is important to improving teacher effectiveness and for improving student performance. Research suggests practices implemented incorrectly are less likely to produce the desired outcomes. Research also finds that treatment fidelity (implementing practices as designed) begins to decline shortly after the new skill has been learned. This paper examines fidelity self-assessment and team-based fidelity measures in the first 4 years of implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS). Results show strong positive correlations between fidelity self-assessments and a team-based measure of fidelity at each year of implementation.
Citation: Khoury, C. R., McIntosh, K., & Hoselton, R. (2019). An Investigation of Concurrent Validity of Fidelity of Implementation Measures at Initial Years of Implementation. Remedial and Special Education, 40(1), 25-31.