Tag Archive for 'meta-analysis'

Updated mega links

Jeanne Wherrett’s comment on an old post prompted me to update the links there. If one of the three or four TE readers have been frustrated by the 404 results for the links pointing to the old mega-analysis (Steve Forness’s term), those links have been fixed.

For those unfamiliar with that old site, it’s a compilation of meta-analyses about cognitive-behavioral treatment of adolescent depression, cognitive-behavioral treatments, computer-assisted instruction, decreasing disruptive behavior, direct instruction (big DI), early intervention, Feingold hyperactivity diet, formative evaluation of students’ progress, medication for students with mental retardation, mnemonic strategies instruction, modality-based reading instruction, peer tutoring, perceptual training, psycholinguistic training, psychotherapy (including behavior modification), reducing class size, social skills training for students with emotional or behavioral disorders, social skills training for students with learning disabilities, special class placement, stimulant treatment of hyperactivity, teaching reading comprehension, treatment of classroom behavior problems.

Jump to the mega site. Flash of the electrons to Ms. Wherrett (see her site) for alerting me to the issue.

Effective methods for teaching writing

Using the methods of meta-analysis, Steve Graham and Dolores Perin examined research about alternative means for teaching written expression to students from fourth through twelfth grades. They limited their review to studies that assessed outcomes on measures of the quality of students’ writing. Unsuprisingly, they found that some of the methods used in teaching writing are more effective than others.

There is considerable concern that the majority of adolescents do not develop the competence in writing they need to be successful in school, the workplace, or their personal lives. A common explanation for why youngsters do not write well is that schools do not do a good job of teaching this complex skill. In an effort to identify effective instructional practices for teaching writing to adolescents, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of the writing intervention literature (Grades 4 –12), focusing their efforts on experimental and quasi-experimental studies. They located 123 documents that yielded 154 effect sizes for quality of writing. The authors calculated an average weighted effect size (presented in parentheses) for the following 11 interventions: strategy instruction (0.82), summarization (0.82), peer assistance (0.75), setting product goals (0.70), word processing (0.55), sentence combining (0.50), inquiry (0.32), prewriting activities (0.32), process writing approach (0.32), study of models (0.25), grammar instruction (– 0.32).

The basic, take-home message: Systematic and explicit instruction helps students write higher quality products than the pop-ed alternative that stress thinking, reflection, and such.
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Effectiveness research

Over on D-Ed Reckoning there is a post about an odor emanating from education research. The item was picked up in a post on NCLBLog: Let’s Get it Right, a product of the American Federation of Teachers, and I dropped a comment on that one about the evidence about effectiveness in special education practices.

Faithful readers of Teach Effectively (both of you!) know that I champion the idea that effectiveness can be assessed with strong empirical research and that data coming from those studies can be aggregated to assess relative effectiveness of educational practices. I’m republishing here parts of a Web site I created in the ’90s on this topic.

If you’re comfortable with the idea of meta-analysis, jump to the section labeled “Practices.” For a review of how to make those evaluations, please consult the links in “Introductory Materials” (in sequence).

Please review the published papers that examine this same literature (see Forness, Kavale, Blum, & Lloyd, 1997; Lloyd, Forness, & Kavale, 1998). There are many other meta-analyses that I’ve not had a chance to drop into this format. I need to create a new template and update the contents…arrrgh.

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