Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Study: Do Tests On Computers Assess Academic or Technological Abilities?

Comparing Paper-Pencil and Computer Test Scores: 7 Key Research Studies is an important article over at Education Week (Report: Kids who took Common Core test online scored lower than those who used paper is a similar one at The Washington Post).

Here’s an excerpt:

There-is-a-mounting-body

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

February 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The “Best” Lists Of Recommendations About What “Effective” Teachers Do

There have recently been a number of reports suggesting that research has identified the key qualities and methods behind effective teaching.

Though I’m wary of making an iron-clad list, and I’m certainly wary about defining the word “effective” (see New Study Suggests That Teacher Observations Should Focus More On Teacher Inputs, Less On Student Outcomes), I still thought it would be useful to make a compilation of links to the ones I think are most useful.

Feel free to make additional suggestions:

“The Science Of Learning” Is A Must-Read (& An Accessible One) For Teachers

Instead Of Reading The APA’s “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Teaching,” Check Out These Analyses Instead

“Learning About Learning” Provides Very Good Narrow Summaries Of Research & Over-The-Top Recommendations

Do’s & Don’ts For Teaching English Language Learners

Tom Sherrington shares his own list, along with links to other reports I haven’t already mentioned.

I’ll end with this excerpt from What Makes A Great Teacher? by Ellie Herman:

Ive-learned-that-great

February 6, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy Issues

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues (You might also be interested in The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two):

50 Years of Research Show Good Teaching Matters. Now What? is from Education Week.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager To Step Down is from NPR.

Education Secretary Calls For Fewer (But Better) Tests is from NPR.

Stop repeating nonsense about ‘bad’ teachers. Just. Stop it. is from Icing On The Cake. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

He’s the stinkweed at the Teach for America garden party is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

Chicago Public Schools teachers and students need more than love is by Ray Salazar.

Teachers call CPS’ $100 million in cuts ‘act of war’ is from The Chicago Sun-Times.

Pondering the future of CTA, Sacramento post-Friedrichs is from Cabinet Report. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case.

Districts won’t have to spend federal money on tutoring is from Ed Source.

February 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New PBS News Hour Video On Oklahoma Universal Preschool Program

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I had previously read about Oklahoma’s universal preschool program (see Oklahomans have embraced free, universal early education — and it’s working).

I was even more impressed by it after viewing tonight’s segment on the PBS News Hour, Seeing success, conservative Oklahoma banks on universal preschool. You can read the transcript at the link, and here’s the video:

February 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Sacramento Bee Story On Teacher Shortage Features Our School’s Student Teacher Support Program

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Help wanted: California school districts scramble to hire teachers is a nice article by reporter Diana Lambert appearing in The Sacramento Bee today.

It features how our school supports student teachers (created by Jim Peterson and Ted Appel), and you can read more about it at the three-part series at my Education Week Teacher column on…how to support student teachers.

If you go to the article’s link, you’ll also see a two-minute video the Bee asked me to do offering tips to new teachers, as well as seeing two photos of me, one of which was ridiculously outsized above the fold in today’s front page. It must have been a very slow news day…

I’m adding the article to The Best Articles & Posts About The “Teacher Shortage.”

February 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Ted Cruz Provides Example Of Applying Good Research In Destructive Way – Maybe He Learned It From Ed Policy?

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The Iowa Caucuses are happening as I write this post, and the Ted Cruz campaign may have blown it by – at the last minute – interpreting and applying good research in a destructive way. This kind of story, of course, is not unknown to those of us in education (see The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research).

Simply put, he applied research that has shown something akin to peer pressure will increase voter turn-out – just letting people know how their past voter participating rates compared with those of their neighbors has been shown to generate a higher voter participation rate.

However, the Cruz campaign sent out mailers explicitly grading people on their voter participation rates compared with their neighbors and accusing them of “voter violations” through a mailer that looked like an official state form.  On top of that, it appears like they just made-up the past voter turn-out rates.

You can read all the details of this fiasco at The New Yorker (Ted Cruz’s Iowa Mailers Are More Fraudulent Than Everyone Thinks) and at Vox (How Ted Cruz used good political science to design a disastrous mailer).

Why, you might wonder, would I be writing about this story in my blog – apart from getting an opportunity to mouth-off against ed policy wonks and Ted Cruz?

The reason is because all the stories on this fiasco so far have limited themselves to the research on voting, and has ignored its much bigger background. And that much bigger background has a direct application to classroom practice.

The original research calls the idea “descriptive norms.”

Here’s a portion of what I wrote in my book, Self-Driven Learning and in a prior post, “Descriptive Norms” In The New York Times & In The Classroom:

“Descriptive norms” are what people think are the common forms of behavior in a particular situation. A study on this concept found that in a hotel, people were far more likely to keep their towels for an extra day if a sign said “75 percent of the guests who stayed in this room (room 313)” then if it contained a general appeal to save the environment.

Using this idea occasionally in the classroom (in a truthful and not deceiving way) may help students want to try new things. For example, a teacher could introduce a book to a student by explaining that it was one of the more popular ones in your class during the previous year.

I go on to mention how I use it in discussing goal-setting and visualization in the context of sharing with “new” students the specific positive impact some of the things we’re going to do had on previous students.

 

The New York Times wrote a more expansive explanation in The Destructive Influence of Imaginary Peers though, instead of calling it “descriptive norms,” they called it “social norming.”  That piece also shares some of the potential negative consequences of using this concept incorrectly, so it’s a piece that Cruz campaign staffers apparently did not read.

As the saying goes, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

January 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy Issues

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues (You might also be interested in The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two):

Ranking Is Not Measuring is by Peter Greene. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Lowering The Bar For The New GED Test is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Dangers Of The New GED Exam.

“A National Disgrace”: Explaining the Past, Present, and Future of Detroit Public Schools is from The 74.

Detroit teachers’ union sues over poor school conditions is from The Washington Post.

Nearly all of our medical research is wrong is from Quartz, and can be related to education research. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Ed Funders Need to Think Bigger About Systemic Change. Here Are Some Ideas is from Inside Philanthropy. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

MISSING ELEMENTS IN THE DISCUSSION OF TEACHER SHORTAGES is from CALDER. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Posts About The “Teacher Shortage”