Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 10, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Study Shows Goal-Setting – With Some Twists – Can Have Big Impact On Student Achievement

I’ve written a lot in my books and on this blog about goal-setting with students (see The Best Posts On Students Setting Goals) and what I do in the classroom.

A new study has just been published that, once again, reinforces previous research documenting goal-setting’s positive effects on student motivation and achievement. This one has a a couple of twists, though, that sets it apart from other research.

First, the results of the goal-setting experiment with college students (from NPR’s report, The Writing Assignment That Changes Lives):

[it] showed a powerful positive effect with at-risk students, reducing the dropout rate and increasing academic achievement.

Secondly, what the three-part, two-and-one-half hour intervention was (this comes from the study itself, which is NOT behind a paywall) – I’ve copied and pasted snippets from each step:

Step 1 included a series of exercises that required students to free-write for specified amounts of time (e.g., 1–2 min, 10 min) about (a) their ideal future, (b) qualities they admired in others, (c) things they could do better, (d) their school and career futures, (e) things they would like to learn more about, and (f) habits they would like to improve (i.e., related to school, work, relationships, health). This initial “fantasy” step was intended to allow participants the chance to consider a number of possible futures and toidentify the ones that were most desirable.

Step 2 asked students to examine the result of their fantasizing about the future and to extract seven or eight specific goals that could be pursued to realize the desired state.

Step 3 required students to evaluate their goals by ranking them in order of importance, detailing specific reasons for pursuit and evaluating the attainability of each goal within a self-specified time frame.

Step 4 asked students to write about the impact that achieving each goal would have on specific aspects of their lives and the lives of others.

Steps 5, 6, and 7 helped students to elaborate on their specific plans for goal pursuit.

Finally, Step 8 asked students to evaluate the degree to which they were committed to achieving each goal.

Here are what I view as the unique “twists” this process takes that sets it apart from other goal-setting experiments I’ve written about, and used:

Steps 2,3,5,6,7 all are very similar to those previous studies and what I have used with students.

Steps 1 and 4, though, are new angles that neither I or other researchers have tried previously. In addition, another element that stands out is that they didn’t appear to do any follow-up with students (which I do) by having them regularly evaluate their progress towards achieving their goals — it appears to be a one-shot deal that, nevertheless, had a significant longer-lasting impact.

The researchers call their entire process “past authoring” and “future authoring.”

Of course, most goal-setting studies have already demonstrated the valued of students setting them (on a side note, this study has a nice section summarizing previous research). I guess there’s no way of knowing if this experiment’s “twists” had a positive impact on the results, or if just the more general idea and practice of setting goals themselves was the cause of positive student impact.

But it seems to me that adding Steps 1 and 4 to a student goal-setting process couldn’t hurt, so I’ll probably give it a try next school year.

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June 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Instead Of Reading The APA’s “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Teaching,” Check Out These Analyses Instead

apa

Last month, the American Psychological Association issued a big report on learning that I blogged about in Nothing New In New “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Teaching,” But Still Very Useful.

However, since that time, UK educator David Didau has been writing a series of posts where he examines each one of those “principles” in-depth and from the point of view of a teacher. They’re very illuminating, and you can see them all here.

He’s got eight more to go, and I’m looking forward to reading each of them!

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June 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Carol Dweck On “Nagging”

Yesterday, I shared a number of reports about Carol Dweck’s talk over the weekend about the growth mindset concept.

Jill Berry shared an article about it in Schools Week headlined Carol Dweck says mindset is not ‘a tool to make children feel good.’

Here’s an excerpt:

Even-some-teachers-who

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

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June 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Study: Inductive Learning Promotes “Transfer Of Knowledge” Better Than Direct Instruction

I’ve written a lot in this blog and in my books about using inductive learning with students (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching). It’s one of my favorite instructional strategies.

And, I’ve written an equal amount about the importance of transfer of learning — in other words, facilitating student “transfer” of something they learned in one lesson to another situation (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More).

Now Education Week has highlighted a study that used that inductive concept – though, surprisingly, they called it “sorting” instead of “inductive learning” – in teaching science. And they found that it was more effective in promoting transfer than direct instruction.

One common way to use the inductive method is through “text data sets,” which a short piece of text that students categorize. You can read more about this particular method and see links to examples in “Thinking Like A Scientist Can Help Overcome Allure Of Appearances.”

In the study covered by Ed Week, though, the scientists just used cards sharing different scientific concepts instead of a typical few sheets of paper with the examples.

One thing I found particularly intriguing and I hadn’t really read about in other studies of the inductive method was that it was its effect on transfer:

…the students who had sorted the cards were significantly better at applying the concept to new situations.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior.”

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June 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Summaries/Reviews Of Research On Social Emotional Learning – Let Me Know What I’ve Missed

So much has been written about Social Emotional Learning – see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

But, really, who has time to read all of it? What’s a one-stop shop where you can get a pretty good overview of what it is, why it’s important, and how it might work in the classroom?

Here are a handful of recent reviews/studies that I think are pretty good. Let me ones you think should be added to the list:

The Need to Address Noncognitive Skills in the Education Policy Agenda is from The Economic Policy Institute.

Teaching Adolescents To Become Learners: The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance: A Critical Literature Review is from The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth — Full Series is from Stanford.

The impact of non-cognitive skills on outcomes for young people is from The Education Endowment Foundation in the UK.

Here’s new report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research titled Foundations for Young Adult Success. You can read more about it at Ed Week.

Everyone Starts With An A is from RSA.

This New Report May Provide The Best Overview Available On Social Emotional Learning

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June 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Research On Teens & Sleep

June 13, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Nicholas Kristof On “It’s Not Just About Bad Choices”

Nicholas Kristof has written a useful column in today’s New York Times that reviews some of the research that I’ve previously written about (see The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough) related to poverty’s effect on “cognitive bandwidth.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Research-has-shown-that

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June 10, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Study: “Authoritative,” Not “Authoritarian,” Classroom Management Works Best For Boys

A couple of years ago, I wrote about what I thought was a pretty important study (see Parental Style Study Makes Sense For Teachers, Too). It found that parents who were authoritative — strict, but relational, listeners, etc — were more successful in raising kids who were self-reliant and self-controlled than those who were authoritarian.

A new study was released today that reinforced that conclusion for the classroom – especially for boys. You can read a summary in Science Daily or read the entire research paper itself (it’s not behind a paywall).

Here’s an excerpt:

By-observing-behaviour

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

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