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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tips from District Administration Magazine

District Administration magazine’s “Research Center” assembled 15 tips taken from over 50 articles. In previous posts, we examined ten. In this installment, we examine the final five. Full articles are available on their website.

Establish a strong learning culture within schools. A substantial body of literature indicates that schools that succeed despite adverse conditions share three characteristics: a strongly focused instructional program, an emphasis on student achievement, and a culture of collaboration among teaching staff . ("Turning Around Low-Performing Schools," May 2004)

Teach grammar in context. One of the most widely ignored research findings is that the teaching of formal grammar, divorced from the process of writing, has little or no effect on the writing ability of students. ("Writing: The Neglected R Returns," January 2005)

Teach skills and strategies. When a comprehensive review of 30 years of learning disabilities intervention research was conducted in 1999, researchers found two categories of interventions that seemed to produce large gains in student achievement: direct instruction of specifi c skills and instruction in learning strategies. ("Understanding Learning Disabilities," August 2005)

Match instruction to students' learning rates. Experimental studies suggest that ability grouping alone has no significant effect on learning. For gifted students, however, ability grouping can make a positive difference if accompanied by appropriate curricular changes. Generally, the strongest effects on student achievement result from accelerated and enriched instruction that makes considerable adjustment for students' learning rates. ("Ability Grouping and Acceleration in Gifted Education," August 2007)

Link parent involvement to student learning. When Anne Henderson and Karen Mapp reviewed the research on parent involvement in 2002, they found that involvement linked directly to student learning was more strongly associated with achievement than more general types of involvement. ("Schools, Families, and Student Achievement," January 2007)



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