In “How to Improve Student Learning in Every Classroom Now,” Janet Twyman and Bill Heward (in press) published excellent descriptions of effective practices, complete with descriptions, examples, links, and more. If you follow Teach Effectively, you'll be familiar with the practices they describe, but their article brings them together in one clear summary. Here's their abstract:
This paper is our attempt to help any of the world’s 60 million teachers who ask, “What can I do right now to improve learning in my classroom?” We describe three easy-to-use teaching tactics derived from applied behavior analysis that consistently yield measurably superior learning outcomes. Each tactic is applicable across curriculum content and students’ age and skill levels. Considerations for using digital tools to support and extend these “low-tech” tactics are also discussed.
Oh, about that evidence stuff: They provide plenty of references to solid research.
Twyman, J. S., & Heward, W. L. (in press). How to improve student learning in every classroom now. International Journal of Educationa Research. doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2016.05.007
Dan Willingham has a new book entitled Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do, and he has published a précis of it in the spring 2015 issue of American Edcuator. It’s available on-line as “For the Love of Reading,” and people interested in reading should take the time to review it. Don’t expect to learn new and compelling teaching procedures, but do expect to have Professor Willingham make sense of some contemporary issues in reading.
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.
Folks who are interested in effective teaching for students with Learning Disabilities (and other students as well) can learn a lot at the up-coming conference of the Division for Learning Disabilities in Baltimore (MD, US) later this month. Michael Gerber assembled a fine group of sessions, as shown at the end of this post.
Check out the all-star cast. Note the coverage of relevant topics ranging from RTI to math, primary to adolescent ages (with some adult interests included!), and skills to cognition. On top of the fine content, there will be excellent opportunities to mix and mingle with other people attending the conference as well as presenters and members of DLD’s executive board during social events that include breakfasts, a luncheon, and a reception. Lots of materials are included.
Learn more about the TeachingLD Conference 2010, including how to register on line.
- Using Evidence-Based Interventions to Teach Primary Level Students Early Numeracy Concepts and Skills
—Diane P. Bryant (University of Texas at Austin) & Brian R. Bryant (University of Texas at Austin)
- The Math Learning Companion: An Individualized Intervention for Students with Math Learning Disabilities
—Lindy Crawford (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) & Barbara Freeman (Digital Directions International)
- Responsive, Comprehensive, and Intensive Intervention for Older Struggling Readers
—Lynn M. Gelzheiser (University at Albany) & Laura Hallgren Flynn (University at Albany)
- Adults with Learning Disabilities: Current Research, Evidence-based Conclusions, and Emerging Directions
—Paul J. Gerber (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Effective Rime-Based Instruction to Improve the Decoding Skills of Students with Learning Disabilities
—Sara J. Hines (Hunter College), Jennifer T. Klein (Hunter College), & Kathleen M. Ryan (The Churchill School)
- The Essay Writing Strategy: Helping Students Write More Organized and Complete Responses to Essay Questions and Prompts
—Charles A. Hughes (Penn State University) & Bill Therrien (University of Iowa)
- Strategy Training, Problem Solving, and Working Memory in Children with Math Disabilities
—Olga Jerman (Frostig Center), Amber Moran (University of California at Santa Barbara), Cathy Lussier (University of California at Riverside), Michael Orosco (University of California at Riverside), Lee Swanson (University of California at Riverside), & Michael Gerber (University of California at Santa Barbara)
- The Technology and Pedagogy of Universal Design for Learning
—Peggy King-Sears (George Mason University)
- Early Reading Intervention for Struggling Readers
—Jill Marie Leafstedt (CSU Channel Islands) & Catherine Richards-Tutor (CSU Long Beach)
- Response to Intervention Screening and Progress-Monitoring Practices in 41 Local Schools
—Daryl F. Mellard (University of Kansas)
- Strategic Instruction for Building Vocabulary
—J. Ron Nelson (University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
- Beyond Reading Words: Improving Reading Rate, Fluency, and Comprehension
—Rollanda E. O’Connor (University of California at Riverside)
- Growth in Literacy, Language, and Cognition in Children with Reading Disabilities who are English Language Learners
—Michael J. Orosco (University of California at Riverside), Lee Swanson (University of California at Riverside), Michael Gerber (University of California at Santa Barbara), & Danielle Guzman (University of California at Santa Barbara)
- Response to Intervention in Math: An Instructional Focus
—Paul J. Riccomini (The Pennsylvania State University)
- Developing Text Level Literacy Skills in Beginning Readers
—Emily J. Solari (University of Texas Health Science Center Houston) & Alexis L. Filippini (San Francisco State University)
- Reading Progress Monitoring for Secondary School Students: Reading-Aloud and Maze-Selection Measures
—Renata Ticha (University of Minnesota) & Miya Miura Wayman (University of Minnesota)
Please note that I am compensated by DLD as its executive director so this is, indeed, a shameless promotion!
Zig Engelmann, progenitor of Direct Instruction (DI), has posted a video of a talk he gave earlier this month. The presentation is an explication of the underlying principles of DI, “Theory of Direct Instruction.”
In the presentation (video below the jump), Mr. Engelmann shows some of his chops from his undergraduate degree in philosophy. He starts with philosophers’ fundamental arguments and shows how those correspond (or don’t) with learning and teaching concepts. For example, as he works through John Stuart Mills’ five methods of induction from A System of Logic, he makes clear how each would apply to teaching. I suspect that this particular sequence will show many people why DI instruction (the examples used in the scripts, not the teaching behavior) is structured the way it is.
Continue reading ‘Engelmann explains’
Under the auspices of the Best Evidence Encyclopedia, Bob Slavin and colleagues Cynthia Lake, Susan Davis, and Nancy Madden released an analysis of the research literature on methods for teaching students who are struggling to learn to read, “Effective Programs for Struggling Readers: A Best-Evidence Synthesis.” In the synthesis they report the results of their examination of nearly 100 studies that used randomized or well-matched control groups, lasted for at least 12 weeks, and employed trustworthy measures of outcomes. The results of their review, which include both effect sizes and narrative descriptions of the studies, provide valuable insight into effective methods for remediating reading problems.
Overall, 96 experimental-control comparisons met the inclusion criteria, of which 38 used random assignment to treatments. Effect sizes (experimental-control differences as a proportion of a standard deviation) were averaged across studies, weighting by sample size.
One-to-One Tutoring by Teachers: ES=+0.38 in 19 studies
• Reading Recovery: ES=+0.23 in 8 studies
• Other programs: ES=+0.60 in 11 studies
One-to-One Tutoring by Paraprofessionals and Volunteers: ES=+0.24 in 18 studies
• Paraprofessionals: ES=+0.38 in 11 studies
• Volunteers: ES=+0.16 in 7 studies
Small Group Tutorials: ES=+0.38 in 11 studies
Classroom Instructional Process Approaches (low achievers): ES=+0.56 in 16 studies
• Cooperative Learning: ES=+0.58 in 8 studies
Classroom Instructional Process Programs with Tutoring (Success for All, low achievers): ES=+0.55 in 9 studies
Instructional Technology (low achievers): ES=+0.09 in 14 studies
Salvin, R. E., Lake, C., Davis, S., & Madden, N. A. (2009). Effective programs for stuggling readings: A best-evidence synthsis. Best Evidence Encyclopedia: http://www.bestevidence.org/reading/strug/strug_read.htm
What if students could declare an intention to enroll in college and take an accelerated course of study during high school so that those who qualify could exit high school earlier than ~18 years of age? To be sure, the standards for qualifying would have to be rigorous (serious competency tests, perhaps created in collaboration with colleges and universities).
Would such a policy create strong incentive for intensive study as a way of escaping some of the drudgery of HS? Would it be counter-productive because students would miss too much growing-up time? Would it make HS less fun for other students, as there would be fewer peers? Would some HS teachers object to losing the students whom they find the most fun to have in their classes?
Over at Ed Week, Christina Samuels has a story about response to intervention. Under the headline “High Schools Try Out RTI,” she points out that using RtI with students in secondary schools requires adaptations: “Using the framework with older students poses challenges, but shows promise.”
“Response to intervention” as a model for boosting student achievement has taken off like wildfire.
When it comes to research on how best to implement the process for students in middle and high school, though, the flame abruptly fizzles out. There’s little RTI research that is specific to secondary schools, although it has been well studied at the elementary level.
Link to Ms. Samuels’ article (subscription required, but one can read a few articles every so often by adding one’s address to a mailing list). Also, for those who’ve not discovered it yet, Teach Effectively has a set of slides by Charles Hughes and Don Deshler that addresses how RtI may be applied in secondary schools.