Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 10, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

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

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

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.”

January 6, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is Why I Make It A Priority To End Each Class & School Year On A Positive Note

I’ve previously written about the importance of ending classes and ending school years on a positive note. You can read an excerpt from one of my books where I describe the research done by Nobel-Prize winner Daniel Kahneman related to this – the “experiencing self” and the “remembering self.”

Today, Dan Ariely (you can see my previous posts about his work here) wrote about the same topic on his blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

I’m adding this info to The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong.

January 1, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Research Studies Of The Week

'magnifying glass' photo (c) 2005, Tall Chris - license:

I often write about research studies from various fields and how they can be applied to the classroom. I write individual posts about ones that I think are especially significant, and will continue to do so. However, so many studies are published that it’s hard to keep up. So I’ve started writing a “round-up” of some of them each week or every other week as a regular feature.

By the way, you might also be interested in My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – Part Two.

Here are some new useful studies (and related resources):

This 1 Tip Will Make Your Meetings Much More Effective (and It’s Not That Hard at All) is from Inc. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Educational Value Of Doodling.

Stop procrastinating with a research-backed mental visualization exercise is from Quartz. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching Students About The Dangers Of Procrastination.

December 29, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Feeling “Pride, Gratitude and Compassion” Increases Self-Control

The Only Way to Keep Your Resolutions from today’s NY Times is one of the more interesting pieces on self-control that I’ve read.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding it to Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

You might also be interested in The Best Ways To Help Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Succeed.

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