Category Archives: personal

Is a National Tutoring Corps Affordable?

Robert Slavin's Blog

Tutoring is certainly in the news these days. The December 30 Washington Post asked its journalists to predict what the top policy issues will be for the coming year. In education, Laura Meckler focused her entire prediction on just one issue: Tutoring. In an NPR interview (Kelly, 2020) with John King, U. S. Secretary of Education at the end of the Obama Administration and now President of Education Trust, the topic was how to overcome the losses students are certain to have sustained due to Covid-19 school closures. Dr. King emphasized tutoring, based on its strong evidence base. McKinsey (Dorn et al., 2020) did a report on early information on how much students have lost due to the school closures and what to do about it. “What to do” primarily boiled down to tutoring. Earlier articles in Education Week (e.g., Sawchuk, 2020) have also emphasized tutoring as the leading solution…

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Vouchers and Market-Driven Schools in Sweden (Sara Hjelm)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Sara Hjelm is a reader of this blog. She wrote to me about the state of Swedish schools a few weeks ago and her deeply-felt concerns about the reforms now occurring in her country. As a retired teacher she sees the blending of school choice and vouchers as a reform strategy that, in her opinion, harms the nation’s schools.

Usually, I do not publish descriptions and critiques of schools in other countries but I was taken by Hjelm’s voice as a teacher, her critique of choice and vouchers, and an advocate for better schools.

As a preface for readers unfamiliar with the state system of schooling in Sweden, I begin with a description of earlier Parliamentary reforms aimed at improving the nation’s schools. Then I offer portions of what Sara Hjelm has written about these reforms. Hjelm gave me permission to use portions of her email.

Background of Swedish System

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3 QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY AN L&D GIANT: RICHARD MAYER

3-Star learning experiences

Earlier this year, Guy Wallace and Mirjam supported the L&D Conference organised by Matt Richter and Will Thalheimer by producing 9 short video interviews with L&D Giants. We asked the following 3 key questions:

Today we present:
RICHARD MAYER

Richard E. Mayer is an American educational psychologist who has made significant contributions to theories of cognition and learning, especially as they relate to problem-solving and the design of educational multimedia.

Mayer’s best-known contribution to the field of educational psychology is a multimedia learning theory, which posits that optimal learning occurs when visual and verbal materials are presented together simultaneously. He is the year 2000 recipient of the E. L. Thorndike Award for career achievement in educational psychology, and the winner of the 2008 Distinguished Contribution of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award from the American Psychological Association.

He was ranked #1 as the most productive educational psychologist in…

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Whatever Happened To the Edison Schools?

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Beginning in the 1980s, researchers, policymakers, and business leaders identified what they called “good” or “effective” schools where mostly minority and poor children attended.. These “good” schools scored high on standardized tests, graduated high percentages of their students, with most getting admitted to college. These policymakers and school leaders wanted to replicate the “good” schools they identified so that more low-income minority children could attend across the country. The charter school movement that began in the mid-1990s continued to focus on poor and minority children and youth.Many ardent entrepreneurial reformers founded clusters of schools such as KIPP, Aspire, and dozens of other non-profit organizations.

One such leader was businessman Chris Whittle who started a bevy of for-profit schools across the country a quarter-century ago called the Edison schools (named after the inventor, Thomas Alva Edison).

UNITED STATES – CIRCA 2000: Christopher Whittle, president of Edison Schools, the company that wants…

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Classrooms of the Future?

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Technological fantasies of the future school have been around for decades. Here’s one from 1910. Note all of the information going into students’ heads comes from textbooks fed into a wood chipper.

Or another from 1963 cartoon called “The Jetsons.”

Or this one in 1982 predicting that the future school will be monopolized by the then dominant company Atari.

And then “Meet The Classroom of the Future” in 2015 at David Boody Intermediate School (IS 228) in New York City.

Modeled after the School of One, an innovative program that began in New York City a few years ago, sixth-to-eighth grade students work at their individual skill levels based on data collected from state and school tests, diagnostic assessments, and past performance. From this data bank, software installed on laptops presents individual lessons tailored for each student to work through on the screen daily. These individual lessons become…

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3 QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY AN L&D GIANT: JULIE DIRKSEN

3-Star learning experiences

Earlier this year, Guy Wallace and Mirjam supported the L&D Conference organised by Matt Richter and Will Thalheimer by producing 9 short video interviews with L&D Giants. We asked the following 3 key questions:

Today we present:
JULIE DIRKSEN

Julie Dirksen is an independent consultant and instructional designer with more than 15 years of experience creating highly interactive e-learning experiences for clients from Fortune 500 companies and technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives.

She has a degree in Instructional Systems Technology, and a whole lot of background in things like UX design, game-based learning, and behavior change.

She has been an adjunct faculty member in the Visualization Department at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she created and taught courses in project management, instructional design, and cognitive psychology.

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What makes a good instructional video?

Teach. Think. Blog.

This blogpost is based on a presentation I gave to colleagues at the start of this term.At the end of this post, I share concrete examples from my instructional videos.

I blogged earlier about making instructional videos as we were entering our first period of remote learning. My colleagues and I went on to make many instructional videos to support our students and, as you can imagine, we learnt a lot. My last blog was about the technical nuts and bolts of getting a video out there, which is a big hurdle for many to get over.

But what makes a good instructional video? What does the research say, and how can it help us think about organising the content of our videos?

Videos should have a clear instructional purpose

In this graphic, I hope to show that the goal during remote learning should be to leverage technology in…

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How to Make Evidence in Education Make a Difference

Robert Slavin's Blog

By Robert Slavin

I have a vision of how education in the U.S. and the world will begin to make solid, irreversible progress in student achievement. In this vision, school leaders will constantly be looking for the most effective programs, proven in rigorous research to accelerate student achievement. This process of informed selection will be aided by government, which will provide special incentive funds to help schools implement proven programs.

In this imagined future, the fact that schools are selecting programs based on good evidence means that publishers, software companies, professional development companies, researchers, and program developers, as well as government, will be engaged in a constant process of creating, evaluating, and disseminating new approaches to every subject and grade level. As in medicine, developers and researchers will be held to strict standards of evidence, but if they develop programs that meet these high standards, they can be confident that…

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A Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education (Justin Reich)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Justin Reich is a Professor at MIT and director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab. He is the author of the Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education (Harvard University Press, 2020).This article appeared in Teaching Times, August 20, 2020.

Over the last ten years, education technology evangelists have made remarkable claims about how new technologies will transform educational systems. In 2009, Clay Christensen of the Harvard Business School predicted that half of all secondary school courses in the US would be online by 2019, and that they’d cost 1/3 of a traditional course and provide better outcomes. Sal Khan of Khan Academy proposed in a TED talk that he could use short videos to reinvent education.

Sebastian Thrun of Udacity said that in 50 years we’d have only 10 institutions of higher education in the world after massive open online courses colonized…

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Reimagining the Public High School in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Part 1)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Since 2016, the XQ Institute has awarded almost $140 million to 19 schools across the country to “reimagine” the American high school. They have had five years to do so. Backed by philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, these high schools are in the midst of putting into practice the major changes they proposed for their schools.

Then the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S. Except for essential services, businesses, schools, and public services closed in March 2020. Of the 24,000 secondary schools in the U.S. (2018), nearly all shifted from in-person classroom interactions to remote instruction. Such an immediate and fundamental shift in the medium of instruction had never occurred before in the history of American public schools.

In effect, schooling, under the shadow of Covid-19, was forcibly reimagined by school boards and superintendents. Historically, reformers have talked about fundamental change for decades and have sought such planned changes in…

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