Sunday, July 24, 2016

How Paul Tough's Helping Children Succeed Helped this Teacher Better Understand Our Craft - Linkis.com

How Paul Tough's Helping Children Succeed Helped this Teacher Better Understand Our Craft - Linkis.com:

How Paul Tough’s Helping Children Succeed Helped this Teacher Better Understand Our Craft


Paul Tough’s Helping Kids Succeed includes many depressing statistics, most of which contribute to an indictment of the contemporary school reform movement. However, Tough cites other evidence which helps explain why reformers were so vehement in demanding transformative change and blowing up the education “status quo.” The evidence Tough cites from Robert Pianta, Joseph Allen, James Stigler, and James Hiebert includes the facts that are the most painful for teachers to contemplate.
Pianta’s researchers studied elementary instruction and “found that in almost every school they observed, the instruction students received was repetitive and undemanding, limited mostly to the endless practice of basic skills.” Pianta et. al also found:
Students in schools populated mostly by middle-class-and-above children were about equally likely to find themselves in a classroom with engaged and interesting instruction (47 percent of students) as in one with basic, repetitive instruction (53 percent of students). But students in schools serving mostly low-income children were almost all (91 percent) in classrooms marked by basic, uninteresting teaching.
Stigler and Hiebert documented an international pattern that was complementary to what Allen, Pianta and their team saw in American classrooms. In contrast to the normative basic skills approach to math, in Japan, “41 percent of students’ time in math class was still spent on basic practice — churning through one problem after another — but 44 percent was devoted to more creative stuff: inventing new procedures or adapting familiar procedures to unfamiliar material.”
On the other hand, it is hard to say how much of the retrograde instruction in high-poverty American schools is a longstanding norm, and how much of it reflects ways that output-driven school reform took lousy schools and made them worse. When I entered the inner city classroom in the early 1990s, I was stunned by the great How Paul Tough's Helping Children Succeed Helped this Teacher Better Understand Our Craft - Linkis.com:

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