Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 17, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: The Number Of ELLs Is Growing

The Learning The Language blog at Ed Week reports on recent research about the number of English Language Learners in the United States.

Here’s an excerpt from their article, Rising Number of ESL Students Poses Challenges for U.S. Schools:

 

I’m adding this info to The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current ELL/ESL/EFL News & Research.

January 16, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Teachers Can Learn About Ed Research At The “Learning Zone”

 

I learned through a tweet by Dylan Wiliam about the Learning Zone.

It’s a UK-based site that offers information about education research. Here’s an excerpt from their site:

We have neuroscientists and psychologists who carry out research on a broad range of topics, from maths and anxiety to memory and language. Each fortnight we will focus on a particular topic.

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

January 15, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Study Finds That Reduced School Funding Negatively Impacts Students

To the surprise of not a single teacher anywhere, a new study has found that reduced school funding during the Great Recession had a negative impact on students.

Less money for schools after the recession meant lower test scores and graduation rates, study finds by Matt Barnum in Chalkbeat provides a good summary of the research, co-authored by Kirabo Jackson.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

January 13, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
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We [White] Teachers Should Look At This Research When We Feel We Don’t Show Bias In The Classroom

I’ve written and shared a fair amount about bias in the classroom (see Resources To Help Us Predominantly White Teachers To Reflect On How Race Influences Our Work).

The Harvard Business Review just published a piece of research that should give all teachers, especially those of us who are white, more on that topic to think about…

Leaders Aren’t Great at Judging How Inclusive They Are is the title of the article, and it talks about research done on thousands of people in leadership positions in business.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it could apply to teachers, but I’m open to hearing conflicting opinions.

Here’s an excerpt from that article:

So, if we think we’re bias-free or are doing a great job on minimizing it in the classroom, perhaps we should think again…

January 10, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

New Treasure Trove Of Education Research

Best Evidence In Brief is an invaluable weekly – more or less – email newsletter sent out by John Hopkins University summarizing new education research.

They’ve just announced that – finally – all their summaries have been collected into one searchable place.

Here is their announcement:

Do you remember a BEiB article but can’t find it in your email? Did you ever delete a story that you meant to save? Best Evidence in Brief is pleased to announce the launch of its archive, the Best Evidence in Brief Index. Spanning 2012 to the present, the archives are searchable by topic and by date. From now on, each issue of BEiB will be added to the Index and over time it will increasingly serve as an easily-accessible resource on recent research and policy relating to evidence-based reform. In the coming months, all of the more than 200 Huffington Post blogs will also be put into an index. We hope you find this a useful resource in your work with evidence in education.

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

January 9, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Statistic Of The Day: To The Surprise Of No Teacher, New Study Finds That Class Size Matters

To the surprise of not a single teacher in the world, a new study find that class size matters.

Here’s how The 74’s summary article about it, Reducing Class Sizes Is Popular With Parents but Not Education Experts. New Research on CA Program Might Change That, begins:

 

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter.

January 9, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

I’m Not Sure This Big Meta-Analysis On Direct Instruction Says What Its Authors Think It Says

A big new meta-analysis has just been released titled The Effectiveness of Direct Instruction Curricula: A Meta-Analysis of a Half Century of Research. Unfortunately, apart from the abstract, it’s behind a paywall, but there are ways around it.

It claims that direct instruction is the cat’s meow (obviously my words, not theirs).

But I’ve got some concerns/questions about it though, admittedly, I’m no research expert (see The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research).

First, I don’t think it’s at all clear – at least to me – from the paper what in practical classroom terms they use to define “direct instruction.”   For example, John Hattie defines it as an instructional strategy much closer to “assisted discovery” learning/teaching than what is commonly believe (see What Does “Direct Instruction” Really Mean?). I might very well have missed it since my eyes tend to glaze over trying to read these kinds of academic papers but I don’t believe most teachers, at least, would have a good understanding of the parameters the authors used to identify whether something was direct instruction or another method.

Secondly, as the paper says, the paper “did not attempt to compare the results of each of the DI programs with specific other approaches.” It seems to me that meta-analyses comparing the specific impacts different kinds of instructional strategies might have been much more helpful to educators. Yes, direct instruction might be effective (and, of course, we all use it sometimes), but could other methods be more effective?

In fact, one meta-analysis did just that (see Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe). That study, as reviewed by Robert Marzano, found direct instruction was less effective than “enhanced discovery learning.”

So, what do you think, are my critiques/concerns valid?

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior.”

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