This is an example of a consent form for research for a research student done at the University of Georgia. If you are a researcher, you'll want to check with your university as to the proper way to format and secure permissions, however, as students become researchers, I have questions about securing permission for research. This is an area we need to discuss and understand because students can now be viable, authentic researchers and perhaps may have links to more accurate data collection techniques than researchers. What happens when researchers partner with students to collect data? A whole new world of research is opening up, so research forms are worth collecting.
Relationships are vital. Principals need them, especially with their teachers. It keeps coming back to leadership! Good principals have good relationships with their teachers. Also, the perception of how well the school principal works with the teaching staff as a whole.
"Why do so many beginning teachers quit the profession or change schools? Surprising new research finds it’s not a heavy workload or lack of resources that has the most significant effect, but instead the relationship between teachers and their principal."
This PDF report from the Center for American Progress shows in a national survey that students feel they are not being challenged in school. This state by state break down is sparking controversy.
37% of 4th graders say math is too easy. 72% of eighth grade science students say they aren't being taught any engineering or technology, 21% of twelfth graders say their math is too easy and 55 % say their history classes are too easy.
This isn't surprising. No child left behind has turned into "no child gets ahead" because the class often doesn't move forward until everyone "gets it." Standardization and mainstreaming can often cause teachers to teach to the middle, but No child Left behind changed that by forcing teachers to teach to the bottom to bring them up.
The bottom has come up, but the top (gifted) has come down in many reports I've seen. We've got a system begging for personalization that continues to throw money into bubbled in pencil-driven answer sheets that show little or nothing on an individual basis. Of course the top kids aren't being challenged, this shouldn't be a surprise.
We need to have "every child moves ahead" as we help kids level up their own learning. Video games personalize, why can't education?
Fascinating series of post on why everyone is an expert on education. This is something I talked about yesterday on my Facebook page. Many of the mainstream media "experts" are not even ex-educators and are saying completely off base things. I read one yesterday that said that one couldn't do science experiments online when I have my science teachers clamoring for computers to be able to do expensive experiments in online environments. This is a nice series of posts to read.
Jane Hart shares a presentation from Hans de Zwaart about the quantified self and learning. I have to admit that this is the first I've heard of the "quantified self movement" but he says it has big consequences for how we learn in the future. Jane is a nice writer and I learn a lot from her.
As I'm reading on inquiry based learning, I came across another article, I'd like to share. In this article, it discusses how inquiry-based learning projects are driven by students. This very much aligns with the questions we ask on the Flat Classroom and other projects. The one point of meaning that I'm working to understand (and finding different answers depending upon the site) is that some differentiate that students should develop the questions rather than teachers "handing them" the questions. I have a lesson plan I sent through Diigo where the instructor designed a lesson around the question "Can there be giants?" and called in inquiry based. Under this article, it may not be called true inquiry based, and yet, I'm wondering if the question is intriguing and of interest and can be used in a way to teach if it really matters where the question originates.
My class is a mix of student-created inquiries (Freshman project) and project-generated inquiries (Digiteen, Flat Classroom). Interesting. Look forward to reading and understanding more (and sharing with you.)
This is another nice article on the topic. Feel free to share yours.
"Inquiry-based learning" is one of many terms used to describe educational approaches that are driven more by a learner's questions than by a teacher's lessons. It is inspired by what is sometimes called a constructivist approach to education, which posits that there are many ways of constructing meaning from the building blocks of knowledge and that imparting the skills of "how to learn" is more important than any particular information being presented. Not all inquiry-based learning is constructivist, nor are all constructivist approaches inquiry-based, but the two have similarities and grow from similar philosophies.
As I was reading up on inquiry based learning, I found a research paper from 1999 that has been cited almost 500 times. In this paper, you have an overview of inquiry based learning and how the use of technology is an excellent support for inquiry based learning. (They call it TSIL - technology-supported inquiry learning.) This paper talks about the potential and Opportunities. This is a PDF that I'm reading and filing in my personal research cabinet.
It is so hard to isolate just for technology. It has a small to moderate effect on learning, however, how much is the technology and how much is the type of school that uses technology. These things are so complex. Worth reading about, however, especially because of the sample size.
"Expanded from a doctoral thesis by Rana Tamim, the study's first author, the research brought together data from 60,000 elementary school, high school, and post-secondary students. It compared achievement in classrooms that used computer technology versus those that used little or none."
In those classrooms where computers were used to support teaching, the technology was found to have a small to moderate positive impact on both learning and attitude. "We deduce that the impact would be even greater if observed over a student's entire educational experience," says co-author Richard Schmid, chair of Concordia's Department of Education and a member of the university's Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance
Here is a broadcast from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on January fifth about "Has the Accountability Movement Run Its Course" in response to the fact that gains during the accountability movement "have plateaued" and how to raise achievement. Important types such as the harmful effect of focusing on outcomes instead of process (the system), the lack of tools for teachers, and the harmful effect of shifting blame versus finding solutions. Something you'll want to watch.
The measure of a good teacher. This is talking about an increase in test scores or decrease when you arrive or leave. What if you're there for a long time - it is hard to measure the delta then. The findings from the New York Daily News.
"Instead, they discovered that some teachers are demonstrably better than others — and that those teachers have long-lasting effects on their pupils.
The data showed that when an excellent teacher joined a school, scores in that teacher’s grade immediately rose. When such a teacher left, scores plummeted.
The benefit of having such a teacher, as measured on exams, lasted for three to four years in school. Later on, the students
were more likely to attend college, earned more money, lived in better neighborhoods and were less likely to become teenage parents than those with poor instructors.
Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff predicted that children who have just one quality teacher between grades 4 and 8 will see their lifetime earnings increase by $4,600.
The researchers also estimated that replacing a poor instructor with just an average one — not even a good one — means children in that class will collectively earn an additional $267,000 over their lifetimes. Leaving a poor instructor in a school for 10 years, Friedman told The New York Times, means as much as $2.5 million in lost income to students.
“The message is to fire people sooner rather than later,” he said."
It is very hard as a classroom teacher reading all of the research to realize and understand the "research" that everyone is quoting. I will have to dig deeper. We need academicians who are reading these studies and dare I say it - we should be reading the most important studies ourselves. His point is that a major shaper in educational research policy in the US and perhaps around the world - the Gates Foundation- is drawing conclusions not backed up by their own research but that no one is going to the actual research. I hope you'll take a read and even more importantly that some of you will give opinions and analyses so good decisions can be made. Here is what Jay says,
"Adding the student surveys and classroom observation measures to test scores yields almost no benefits, but it adds an enormous amount of cost and effort to a system for measuring teacher effectiveness. To get the classroom observations to be usable, the Gates researchers had to have four independent observations of those classrooms by four separate people. If put into practice in schools that would consume an enormous amount of time and money. In addition, administering, scoring, and combing the student survey also has real costs."
I'm all for research-based best practices but when we can't trust the research -- we'd better use common sense. Take a read and share. This is one area that I need to learn and understand a lot more and hope to continue to add some great blogs of people who analyze the research. Please let me know on Twitter or here who you read.
An incredibly detailed, hyperlinked analysis of recent research studies proving something that those of us in the classroom know... teachers matter. More than we can understand or comprehend. A great read.
"In short, the results suggest that teachers’ effects are persistent and pervasive – that having more effective teachers (as measured by test scores) is associated with small but discernible improvements in wellbeing later in students’ lives."
Many educational journals like this one have RSS feeds to notify you when new research comes out. If you want to keep up with research, I highly recommend you use an RSS reader. I use Google reader on my computer and Mr. Reader on my ipad (because it integrates with Diigo.)
Researchers should use Google Scholar Citations. This is like Google Analytics for your paper or article. You can create links to your work, update your profile, add links to coauthors, and then track how often your article is cited. The modern researcher should definitely set this up.
Dr. James Beeghley (Jim as most of us know him) has a presentation on Wednesday at K12 online about how history and social studies should be taught using technology. He talks about early photography and a lot of other very cool thoughts that will certainly challenge the thinking and teaching of history teachers.
CDW classroom analysis reports finds that students still use technology more outside of class than in class. Only 39% of students say their high school is meeting their technology expectations. It is sad that 73% of faculty say digital content is ESSENTIAL for the 21st-century classroom but only 11% of districts are using it.
Fascinating Article about how to change people's attitudes.
You sure you sure?” It turns out, we’re not sure we’re sure according to the classic 1973 study by Goethals and Reckman.In the study, researchers invited high schoolers to discuss their opinions on an issue—in this case, school segregation and whether bussing would help racial integration. Some time later, study participants returned for another discussion. This time, however, they were divided into pro and con groups. Inside each separated groups, Goethals and Reckman placed a “confederate,” a person armed with arguments for the opposing viewpoint. The goal was to reverse the groups’ outlook.In the end, both confederates successfully reversed the groups’ opinions.
groups couldn’t accurately recall their original position. Many claimed their previous beliefs were less definite than researchers originally observed.
If your organization is working with Open Access Repositor Material -- check out this website where institutions share their policies and register your own. (from Stephen Downes.)
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