Category Archives: personal

The Summer Slide: Fact or Fiction?

Robert Slavin's Blog

One of the things that “everyone knows” from educational research is that while advantaged students gain in achievement over the summer, disadvantaged students decline. However, the rate of gain during school time, from fall to spring, is about the same for advantaged and disadvantaged students. This pattern has led researchers such as Alexander, Entwisle, and Olson (2007) and Allington & McGill-Franzen (2018) to conclude that differential gain/loss over the summer completely explains the gap in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Middle class students are reading, going to the zoo, and going to the library, while disadvantaged students are less likely to do these school-like things.

The “summer slide,” as it’s called, has come up a lot lately, because it is being used to predict the amount of loss disadvantaged students will experience as a result of Covid-19 school closures. If disadvantaged students lose so much ground over 2 ½…

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“Confessions of a School Reformer”(Part 1)

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Administration/Policy

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Thinking about challenge: Part 1, Benjamin Bloom

Deep Ghataura

First of three parts. Summary: [1] Benjamin Bloom and his taxonomy team were more modern than most people realise. [2] But there is little help in being domain specific. [3] Part 2 will introduce a domain specific structure for physics Part 3 will be an attempt to use this structure.

Before you start reading, how many times does Bloom mention “challenge” in his taxonomy?

When I was an NQT I looked at Blooms taxonomy to help me with increasing the challenge of my lessons. The conventional wisdom of the time suggested that challenge was deeply tied to the verb attached to the prompt. For example: did the question ask students to evaluate or create? If the question did ask that then it was a higher-order thinking question. Well meaning middle leaders or consultants repeatedly push for this shortcut. Bloom and his committee were well aware of that this could happen…

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Whatever happened to constructivism? — Filling the pail

When I started blogging eight years ago, constructivism was a big deal. Whenever I wrote about it, which was often, plenty of people would appear and tell me that I didn’t understand it. So I even went to the lengths of creating a FAQ post to address the points they made. Yet now, constructivism seems […]

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May 23, 2020 · 5:07 am

A Better Retrieval Practice? — The Effortful Educator

“The testing effect (retrieval practice) is one of the most robust effects in memory research. More than 100 years of research has established that taking a test is more effective than restudy for improving subsequent memory” (1). You would be hard-pressed to find a more impactful and widely applicable learning strategy than retrieval practice. It…

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May 18, 2020 · 4:44 pm

Teaching Remotely During the Pandemic — Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Cartoonists have acerbic pens. read some stories. In the New York Times, kindergarten teacher Rachel Miller in Georgetown, Massachusetts described teaching her class from home. Last week, I ran my first virtual small-group kindergarten class. We read a book, practiced our letters and sounds, and did some math; all this to the tune of a […]

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May 18, 2020 · 4:43 pm

DI: An Introduction — Sam Hall

In 2002, a team of underhand pitchers, fat batters and washed up stars came within a few games of winning baseball’s biggest prize. Playing out of Oakland, California, the A’s were one of the poorest teams in the division. Nobody had heard of half their players. And so-called experts had written them off before a […]

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May 18, 2020 · 4:42 pm

A School Experiment to Remember — Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Between 1933-1941, thirty high schools in the country and over 300 universities and colleges joined an experiment sponsored by the Progressive Education Association. Called “The Eight Year Study,” each high school decided for itself what curricula, schedules, and class sizes would be. There were no college admission requirements or must-take tests. Old lesson plans were […]

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May 4, 2020 · 5:53 pm

The Drill of How to Chill For Learning — 3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen You’ve just spent some time learning something challenging or studying for an exam. Now you’re done and ready to chill. But how? What’s your chill drill? Perhaps you’ve read one of our recent blogs in which we discuss that people can’t multitask, or perhaps you’ve already had a chance […]

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April 21, 2020 · 3:16 pm