Archive for the 'Behavior Management' Category

Free gift from Education Consumers Foundation!

partial image of cover of Clear Teaching

Isn’t it unusual to get something for free that is actually worth a lot? The good folks over at Education Consumers Foundation (ECF) are giving away a small book that is quite valuable, and I encourage readers to download it, read it, and tell their friends to get it, too.

What are they giving away? It’s a book called Clear Teaching: With Direct Instruction, Siegfried Engelmann Discovered a Better Way of Teaching by Shep Barbash. As one can tell from the subtitle, it’s about Zig Engelmann’s work on education. I talked with Mr. Barbash as he worked on the manuscript for the book, read an earlier version of it, and am very impressed with this finished product. It’s even more impressive that the book is now out in the wild for free. Kudos to Mr. Barbash, John Stone, and all the others at ECF who made this happen.

Clear Teaching – The Book
Written by veteran journalist Shepard Barbash over a period of 10 years, Clear Teaching is a well-researched, highly readable introduction to Direct Instruction (DI), a systematic teaching approach which for more than 40 years has dramatically improved learning outcomes for students of all abilities and from all walks of life. The book looks at the development of DI through the early experiences of its creator, Zig Engelmann; explains the principles that underpin this approach; and looks at DI’s reception in the world of teaching, where it has been effectively shunned despite a formidable research base and example after example of transformative success.

The image at the top of the post is hot, but readers can also click here to go to the ECF page where they can download the PDF.

GBG recognized again

In its announcement mechanism, Top Tier Evidence, the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy has given another boost to that venerable intervention, the Good Behavior Game (GBG). Top Tier Evidence judged a combination of the GBG and a special academic curriculum to meet nearly all its standards for a “Top Tier” classification, failing only the standard of having been tested in multiple sites.

The GBG was originally reported by Harriet Barrish in a masters thesis while working with Mont Wolf at Kansas University in the 1960s. Others—particularly Shep Kellam at Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues—recognized the utility of the practice and studied it more extensively. Professor Kellam and his team conducted a large-scale study in Baltimore and from that study and follow-up reports about it and others, the Top Tier Evidence folks have drawn their analysis.
Continue reading ‘GBG recognized again’

Children of the Code posts Engelmann 2

Over on Children of the Code, David Boulton and colleagues affiliated with Learning Stewards, a non-profit organization, posted the second segment of an extended video interview entitled “Professor Siegfried Engelmann Part 2: Improving the Quality of Learning.” Here’s a snippet from the the announcement:

Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann is Professor of Education at the University of Oregon, the Director of the National Institute for Direct Instruction, and President of Engelmann-Becker Corporation, which develops instructional materials and provides educational services for students with various educational needs. The creator of “Direct Instruction”, Professor Engelmann is also the author or co-author of more than 100 articles and chapters of professional books, and more than a dozen professional books and monographs.

“It doesn’t matter what your theory of learning is, all you need to do is look at the facts of what you did and the facts of what the kids are doing.”

I like that quote. It captures the raw empiricism that undergirds Professor Engelmann’s approach to teaching and instructional design.

Siegfried Engelmann 2: Improving the Quality of Learning
Read an earlier entry from Teach Effectively that links to the first part of the interview: “Engelmann interview on instructional design.”

Corporal punishment needs to be beaten

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a policy paper examining a report the Human Rights Watch and the ACLU about corporal punishment in US schools. It provides a clear and powerful indictment of what amounts to a state-sanctioned assault on children.

A Violent Education
Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools

Continue reading ‘Corporal punishment needs to be beaten’

Seclusion and restraint hearings

Over on Behavior Mod Info readers can find several entries about the hearings regarding US schools’ use of seclusion and restraint. The hearings were conducted by the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor.

Spending stimulus $$

News sources around the US are abuzz with how state and local education agencies will spend the influx of funds for special education that comes with the US government’s increases in IDEA funding under the stimulus plan.

Given that these funds may be pretty fleeting (here today, gone in a couple of years?), how wise is it to invest in more teachers whom the LEAs will have to dismiss or materials that are likely to need replacement in just a few years? I’d say, “NOT!”

Why not invest in staff development, using the two-year span to ensure that virtually all teachers know how to measure progress in easy-but-rigorous ways (e.g., curriculum-based measurement), implement school-wide discipline programs, and present lessons in systematic and (dare I say it?) instructive ways?

Here are some relevant links: Research Institute on Progress Monitoring and Student Progress; School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports.

Corporal punishment needs to be beaten

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a policy paper examining a report the Human Rights Watch and the ACLU about corporal punishment in US schools. It provides a clear and powerful indictment of what amounts to a state-sanctioned assault on children.

A Violent Education
Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools

Every year in the United States at least 220,000 children in public schools are subjected to corporal punishment, or “paddling.” Permitted in 21 states, the practice leaves many children injured and disengaged from the process of learning. African-American students and students with mental or physical disabilities receive corporal punishment at disproportionately high rates, creating a hostile school environment in which these students may struggle to succeed.

This practice should stop. I hope readers will review A Violent Education and advocate an end to corporal punishment.

Download the executive summary here and review an earlier post on TE about corporal punishment.

Zig site morphs

Zig Engelmann, principle author of a sweet suite of instructional materials that cover the range from beginning language skills to core concepts in physical sciences, has revised his Web site, Zig Site. If you’ve ever heard of “Direct Instruction” (sometimes said, “Big DI”), you’ve heard of Zig’s work. The new site has somethings new and somethings old. Rather than précis the changes, here’s how Zig describes it:

Starting in 2009, Zigsite is going to have an emphasis on training through videos. The first will be a series of 13 video sessions on teaching English pronunciation to non-English speakers. It will be followed by a series of training videos on teaching our new program, Direct Instruction Spoken English.

The longer printed works on Zigsite include, Rubric for Identifying Authentic DI Programs, Low Performers’ Manual, and the log of the first formal study I did in education—Comparative Preschool Study: High and Low SES Preschoolers Learning Advanced Cognitive Skills. These are constructive. Most of the other works are constructive only in the sense that they help clarify why education has gone basically nowhere in the past 40 years. Only now are educators starting to “invent” some of the stuff we used back in the 60s.

Continue reading ‘Zig site morphs’

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