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Summary: "Big Ideas in Science Education", a blog post from Teaching Science presents Principles and Ideas of Science Education, a great informal resource for teachers of young scientists who want students to know what real science looks like.
Summary: CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
CAST's work is inspired and informed by the learners who often get pushed aside in traditional education settings. In other words, "the future is in the margins," as Founding Directors David Rose and Anne Meyer write.
Summary: A valuable primer for educators, students, and parents looking to bring democratic education practices into their schools and classrooms. This paper presents the history and theory of democratic education and explores both the opportunities and the challenges involved with building more democratic classrooms. This is the first part of Morrison's two part paper. A link to part two is provided below.
Summary: "Given the experience to date with an overwhelming focus on student achievement scores as a basis for high-stakes decisions, policymakers would do well to pause and carefully examine the issues that make teacher assessment so complex before implementing an assessment plan. To facilitate such examination, this brief reviews credible research exploring: the feasibility of combining formative assessment (a basis for professional growth) and summative assessment (a basis for high-stakes decisions like dismissal); the various tools that might be used to gather evidence of teacher effectiveness; and the various stakeholders who might play a role in a teacher assessment system. It also offers a brief overview of successful exemplars."
Summary: This extensive and nearly 10-year long study undertaken by leading educators, economists, and psychologists with support from the U.S. Department of Education and several foundations carries a strong message: high-stakes assessments and incentives such as those mandated in NCLB, high school exit exams, and merit pay for teachers have little or no effect on student learning, and sometimes have negative consequences. While numerous studies and critics of testing and high-stakes assessment have sounded these warnings for years, the prestige and influence of the National Academies and the committee who drafted the report sends one of the strongest signals yet to policy-makers and education officials that we should proceed slowly - if at all - with high-stakes measures of education.
Summary: Here is the new report from The Open University -- Innovating Pedagogy 2012: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers.
The series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.
The first report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. You can see a summary of each innovation at the menu on the right. Please contribute with comments on the report and the innovations.
Summary: This paper follows Morrison's "Democratic Classrooms" article, reporting on the author's project to bring democratic education practices to her graduate education course. She outlines the pitfalls and strengths of the experience and gives recommendations to others about how to bring democratic education into teacher education programs. This is the second part of Morrison's two part paper.
Summary: Founded in 2009, the National UDL Center supports the effective implementation of UDL by connecting stakeholders in the field and providing resources and information about advocacy, implementation, research, and other resources. It provides a community to connect with others in the UDL field.
Summary: The NUA's mission is to substantiate an irrefutable belief in the capacity of all public school children to achieve the high intellectual performances demanded by our ever changing global community. Our focus is teacher and administrator quality through professional development which incorporates current research from cognitive neuroscience on learning, teaching, and leading. We partner with school districts to support the building of their capacity to advocate community-wide responsibility for realizing the learning potential of its children.
Summary: This study of what goes on in classrooms speaks to the need for greater consideration to the ways in which young people learn best. In a study of over 700 5th grade classrooms, results showed that the large percentage of time was spent on teacher-directed activity, that math and reading took up 78% of time, that teachers spent little time with individual students, and that students were more often involved in lower-level activities such as reading comprehension instead of higher-level activities like critical thinking and problem-solving.
Summary: This study demonstrates that strong student-teacher advisor relationships can promote greater student engagement in school, greater academic achievement, and greater psychological adjustment.
Summary: The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University published this report in December 2011 for the Schott Foundation for Public Education.
From the introduction: "In the following pages, we describe six strategies that both our own experience and our survey of the field have shown to be powerful supports for the quality of instruction. For each strategy, we outline the problem to be addressed; what needs to happen to address the problem; examples of organizations and sites that are implementing the strategy effectively; what readers can ask about and advocate for in their own school communities; and a short list of resources where readers can learn more.
Summary: This report reviews studies on place-based education involving over 100 schools and 2,750 surveys of teachers and students. It found that place-based education fosters students' connection to place, creates vibrant partnerships between schools and communities, boosts student achievement, and improves environmental, social, and economic vitality. As defined in this report, place-based education immerses students in local heritage, culture, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences as a foundation for learning, and encourages teachers and students to use the schoolyard, community, public lands, and other special places as resources, turning communities into classrooms.
Summary: This report analyzing teacher retention found that almost 33% of public school teachers are leaving the profession within their first three years and nearly 50% after five years, primarily because of dissatisfaction with the underlying organization of schools. The report includes a detailed analysis of causes along with recommendations, including increased teacher autonomy, mentoring, and downsizing schools.
Summary: This is one of the most readable articles explaining research that shows the value of exploration and discovery in learning in contrast to direct instruction. The author, University of California-Berkeley professor and research Alison Gopnick, describes two studies in which young children display more curiosity and creativity when they can explore a new object without direct teaching than when they are first taught from a teacher about how the object works. This is a powerful article and research summary that you can share with principals, teachers, parents, and others to help them understand the difference between direct instruction and exploration in learning.
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