Saturday, April 6, 2013

This Week's Education Research Report 4-6-13 #SOSCHAT #EDCHAT #P2 Education Research Report: THIS WEEK'S EDUCATION RESEARCH REPORT


Collective Pedagogical Teacher Culture Results in Higher Mathematics Achievement

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
Scholars have not adequately assessed how organizational cultures in schools differentially influence students’ mathematics achievement by race and socioeconomic status (SES). This study focuses on *collective pedagogical teacher culture*, highlighting the role of professional communities and teacher collaboration in influencing mathematics achievement. Using cross-classified growth models, the authors analyze data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study and illustrate that schools where teachers perceive the presence of professional communities and teacher collaboration fost... more »

Test students early and often (online at least)

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
The number of online educational offerings has exploded in recent years, but their rapid rise has spawned a critical question: Can such “virtual” classes cut through the maze of distractions — such as email, the Internet, and television — that face students sitting at their computers? The solution, Harvard researchers say, is to test students early and often. By interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreased by half, note-taking tripled, and overall retention of the material improved, according to Daniel Schacter, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor... more »

Men have better spatial ability than women

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
The observation that males appear to be superior to females in some fields of academic study has prompted a wealth of research hoping to shed light on whether this is attributable to nature or nurture. Although there is no difference in general intelligence between the sexes, studies over the past 35 years have consistently found that overall men do much better in tests of spatial ability than women. This difference may have something to do with why there are still fewer women in tertiary education studying science, technology, engineering and math – all subjects where it helps to ... more »

American middle class high schools have not kept pace with other countries

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
This three-part report, Middle Class or Middle of the Pack? highlights achievement in middle class American schools based on new analyses of math and science data from the 2009 PISA results and the results of a pilot study involving 105 American high schools that took a new test known as the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA). The test is a school-level internationally benchmarked tool that measures reading, math and science knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds. Importantly, the OECD Test for Schools also measures key competencies such as critical thinking and problem solving as... more »

Reconstructing Science Curricula Through Student Voice and Choice

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
How can teachers enact a curriculum that is responsive to students and emergent from them when teachers are under enormous constraints to cover specific course content and to prepare students for standardized tests? Rather than an either/or perspective, this article embraces a both/and approach based on the belief that teachers can do both. Drawing upon qualitative classroom data gleaned from 3 years of research in an inner-city high school, four “best practices” inform a science curriculum model based on student voice and choice. In a recursive fashion, both the evidence and aspec... more »

Behind Closed Doors: School Nurses and Sexual Education

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 day ago
School nurses can play a key role in providing sexual education in schools. However, they often face barriers from the school administration and concerned parents. Additionally, school nurses may have limited formal preparation in managing sexual health issues. This study used a descriptive qualitative method to explore the school nurses’ experiences with facilitators and barriers to providing sexual education. Eighteen nurses from 12 Massachusetts high schools were interviewed. Results showed that the school nurses do not provide formal sexual education at their schools but freq... more »

There is SIGNIFICANT Diversity in State Kindergarten Policies

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 2 days ago
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) reviewed kindergarten policies across all 50 states. This report presents findings on six key components of a kindergarten system: availability, length of day, student assessment, quality of instruction, standards and curriculum, and funding. It is important to note that this is entirely a policy review and ECS recognizes that practice is way ahead of policy in many states. The report’s findings highlight the significant diversity that exists in state kindergarten policies across and within states. The findings reveal a system of prov... more »

Study Claiming Benefits from Tracking Students Is Far Too Weak to Offer Guidance

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 4 days ago
Does “tracking” elementary school students by how well they score on standardized tests improve student achievement? The vast majority of research into so-called tracking or ability grouping of students has reached a definite conclusion: it’s harmful. Students placed in low-track classes fall further behind. Yet a recent working paper published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research reaches a different conclusion, purporting to find evidence from a study of young children in Texas that sorting students based on their test scores improves outcomes for low-achievi... more »

In-state college merit scholarship programs have little impact

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 6 days ago
Fifteen U.S. states currently have broad-based college merit scholarship programs. Based on either high school grade point averages or scores on college entrance exams, these in-state tuition scholarships are awarded to at least 30 percent of each state's graduating high school class. In total, the 15 states spend about $2,191 per recipient or $1.4 billion per year. The aid programs appear to slightly increase the probability that residents born in the state live there after college, but they may also decrease the probability that people attain a four-year college degree. In ... more »


Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Students perform better when their instructors use hand gestures – a simple teaching tool that could yield benefits in higher-level math such as algebra. A study published in *Child Development*, the top-ranked educational psychology journal, provides some of the strongest evidence yet that gesturing may have a unique effect on learning. Teachers in the United States tend to use gestures less than teachers in other countries. “Gesturing can be a very beneficial tool that is completely free and easily employed in classrooms,” said Kimberly Fenn, study co-author and assistant profes... more »

Students Mixing Career, Technical Courses with Traditional Academic Tracks

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
In the past three decades, U.S. students have begun blurring the lines between traditional academic studies and technical education courses, according to a new report by researchers at RTI International and MPR Associates, Inc. In the report, researchers found that career and technical education, including courses such as accounting, construction and health care, has moved from being a separate vocational “track” for graduates headed to jobs immediately after high school to an exploratory “field” for both academic and general high school graduates. The researchers also found that ... more »

Boston Public Schools' prekindergarten program boosts children's skills

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Boston Public Schools' prekindergarten program is substantially improving children's readiness to start kindergarten, according to a new study of more than 2,000 children enrolled there. The program uses research-based curricula and coaching of teachers, is taught primarily by masters-level teachers, and is open to any child regardless of family income. The study, out of Harvard University, appears in the journal Child Development. Some of the study's findings on the effects of the program are the largest found to date in evaluations of large-scale public prekindergarten programs.... more »

Female students just as successful as males in math and science

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
While compared to men, women continue to be underrepresented in math and science courses and careers, is this disparity a true reflection of male and female student ability? According to a study to be released tomorrow in *Psychology of Women Quarterly,* a SAGE journal, male and female students earn similar grades in math and science while Asian American students of both genders outperform all other races. Researchers Nicole Else-Quest, Concetta Mineo and Ashley Higgins studied 367 White, African American, Latino/Latina, and Asian American 10th grade male and female students in ma...more »

Study Finds Similar Academic Growth Rates for High-Achieving Students at High-, Low-Income Schools

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
High-achieving students show nearly equivalent rates of academic growth toward college readiness, whether they go to a low- or high-poverty school, according to a new study released by the Kingsbury Center at Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). *A Level Playing Field: How College Readiness Standards Change the Accountability Game* found that average rates of academic growth by high achievers in high-income and low-income schools were nearly equivalent. Achievers in high-income schools showed slightly more significant math achievement growth than achievers in low-income schools...more »

Second ‘School Staffing Surge’ report suffers from same flaws as original

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
In a follow-up to its Bunkum Award-winning report of last year, the Friedman Foundation recently released a second report, again describing a surge in school employment unaccompanied by progress in student achievement. Again, however, the report suffers from faulty premises and inaccurate data. Joydeep Roy reviewed The School Staffing Surge, Part II, for the Think Twice think tank review project. The review is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Dr. Roy is a visiting professor at Columbia University’... more »

New WWC Quick Review on "KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes, Final Report"

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
What is the study about? This study examined whether attending a Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) middle school improved students’ reading, math, social studies, and science achievement for up to 4 years following enrollment. The study analyzed scores on state assessments for approximately 16,000 students attending 41 KIPP middle schools in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Students were followed for 1–4 years, depending on data availability. KIPP middle school students were matched to students who had attended the same feeder school districts but subsequently attended non-...more »

5-year-olds who watch TV for 3+ hours a day more likely to be antisocial

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
Five year-olds who watch TV for three or more hours a day are increasingly likely to develop antisocial behaviours, such as fighting or stealing by the age of seven, indicates research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood. But the risk is very small, say the authors, who additionally found that time spent playing computer/electronic games had no impact on behaviour. Prolonged screen viewing time has been linked to various behavioural and emotional problems in children, say the authors, but most research has focused exclusively on television, and almost all of it has... more »


Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
In the wake of President Obama’s “college scorecard,” new research finds that government attempts to grade educational institutions can backfire when done for political or policy purposes. Rebecca Jacobsen of Michigan State University studied the effects of publicizing performance data for K-12 schools, which was mandated by No Child Left Behind in 2001. While Jacobsen believes school report cards are warranted to keep the public informed, she said too often the information presented is unclear or misleading to parents and can ultimately erode trust in the schools. And now comes t... more »

Scientists and public school teachers team up to transform science education

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
A research paper published online this month in *Academic Medicine*highlights the successful development, implementation, and effects of an infectious disease curriculum that has now been piloted in five Boston Public Schools. Student engagement and interest in the infectious disease material increased after the curriculum was implemented. Based on pre-and post-tests, student understanding of the course content more than doubled regardless of gender or ethnicity, also attitudes and self-efficacy toward the material improved compared to other students. The curriculum is part of the G...more »

Mindfulness improves reading ability, working memory, and task-focus

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report - 1 week ago
If you think your inability to concentrate is a hopeless condition, think again –– and breathe, and focus. According to a study by researchers at the UC Santa Barbara, as little as two weeks of mindfulness training can significantly improve one's reading comprehension, working memory capacity, and ability to focus. Their findings were recently published online in the empirical psychology journal Psychological Science. "What surprised me the most was actually the clarity of the results," said Michael Mrazek, graduate student researcher in psychology and the lead and corresponding ... more »