You know all those education ideas that people, including me, write about as being research-based?
Well, a new study has been published finding that only .13% of education research experiments are actually replicated by anybody else (that’s not a typo — it’s not 13% — it’s .13%. My original post mistakenly said the former percentage). And, of that .13%, sixty-eight percent were successfully replicated. However, that percentage dropped 54% if you only included replication efforts that didn’t include the original authors as part of the new team.
So, if you take that data into account, it’s even worse…..
Now, new research finds what we teachers who have been making this kind of an activity a priority have known all along — students will put a whole lot of energy into learning what they have to teach others. In fact, the research finds students will employ more effecting learning strategies in this kind of teaching situation than if they are preparing for a test.
An article in District Administration Magazine raises issues about the effectiveness of Booktrack, a website and app that provides a “soundtrack” of music, street sounds, etc. to a book (students can also create their own sounds). Some question research (funded by Booktrack) that suggests it improves comprehension.
I’ve previously posted about Booktrack, and think highly of it. I’ve seen some of my least interested readers regularly get very engaged in a book they can read on their phone using Booktrack.
And that’s the key — engagement. I’m not sure if students using Booktrack would score better than a control group not using it on a comprehension test.
But I also don’t care.
What I do know is that students who wouldn’t read are going to score a lot less on a comprehension test than those who did (not that test scores are the be all and end all of assessments).
It gets to an issue of previously written about a few times.
Research might be able to identify the best ways to get things done, but it doesn’t really matter if people won’t do those things.
Research can’t exist in a vacuum, especially where our students are concerned.
You can read these past posts (and don’t miss the comments section with them) for further discussion on this issue:
As regular readers of this blog and my books know, I’m an advocate of teaching Social Emotional Learning skills — and that I think they need to be simple so that individual teachers can integrate them easily with their regular classroom instruction.
Now, another study has been released finding the same results — that the programs that were most simple got the most positive results. You can read about it at NPR, Teaching 4-Year-Olds To Feel Better.
It gives me just a little more incentive to complete the third book in my student motivation series, which will include even more short and sweet SEL lessons. The manuscript should be done by September 1st, and Routledge should have it published by next spring.
We all know that students learn more effectively if they can connect new information to prior knowledge. How the brain builds on prior knowledge is a report on a new study that saw how different parts of the brain actually do it.
A study was just announced a couple of years ago claiming — surprise, surprise — that integrating pair work and small groups in teaching is more effective than straight lectures. Science Daily reported it in an article titled Interactive Teaching Methods Double Learning in Undergraduate Physics Class. The study’s author’s also seem to make a big deal of using “clickers” for student response, but when I actually read the study they said they only used them an average of 1.5 times each class, so it’s difficult for me to imagine they had that big of an impact. Based on my reading, though, the big difference seemed to be pair and small group work. You can access the study here, but it does cost fifteen dollars. Surprisingly — at least to me — the study was immediately attacked by a many other scientists, including Daniel Willingham, in a New York Times article. I don’t really understand what the big deal is — tons of other studies have shown similar results over the years.
Thanks to a post at The Engineer’s Pulse, I learned about Harvard Professor Eric Mazur. He’s done a lot of work — perhaps it could be called teacher action research — on the advantages of peer work over lecturing as an effective instructional tool. You can read more about his work at a Harvard Magazine article titled Twilight of the Lecture. I’ve also embedded below a talk by him about his work.
I write many posts about recent research studies and how they can relate practically to the classroom. In fact, I post a regular feature called Research Studies of the Week. In addition, I write individual posts about studies I feel are particularly relevant to my work as a teacher.
I’m continuing with my mid-year “Best” lists, and it makes sense now to publish one on recent studies. You can see all my 1,300 “Best” lists here.
There are two excellent posts that elaborate on these issues — one by Alfie Kohn and the other by Dan Willingham. There’s some irony in this since Kohn criticizes a prior article by Dan in an effort to make his points:
Two things could cause access to health insurance to influence educational achievement. The first is pretty straightforward — access to insurance could make kids healthier and healthier kids could do better in school. But there’s also a potential indirect effect — giving families health insurance could increase the financial resources they have available for non-health expenses, and that could help kids do well in school. The way the study is constructed doesn’t let us tell how much of the impact is coming from the insurance per se and how much is simply the financial benefit.
Motivating children to stop playing and help out with chores isn’t exactly an easy sell, as most parents and teachers will attest. But how you ask can make all the difference, psychologists say.
If you say something like, “Please help me,” the kids are more likely to keep playing with their Legos. But ask them, “Please be a helper,” and they’ll be more responsive, researchers report Wednesday in the journal Child Development.
In findings not surprising to teachers everywhere, Duke researchers found that learners were both more engaged, and and more self-control, when they participating in a learning activity they were enjoying and found relevant.