Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends

Recently for The Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay provided an overview of scientific research that finds that content knowledge is crucial to effective critical thinking. Portions of the piece appear below: Critical thinking is all the rage in education. Schools brag that they teach it on their websites and in open houses to impress parents. Some Read more about Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends[…]

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DC Public Schools release scores showing four years of steady gains

FutureEd has published a piece about how changes to curriculum and instruction in DC have made a difference:  During five and a half years as chief of teaching and learning at the District of Columbia Public Schools, Brian Pick led one of the nation’s most comprehensive—and successful—overhauls of a school district instructional system. Pick introduced Read more about DC Public Schools release scores showing four years of steady gains[…]

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Tools to Evaluate whether Instructional Materials meet English Learners’ Needs

Learning Forward has released a set of instructional tools that will help education practitioners determine if instructional materials meet the needs of English learners. The tools are intended for those developing, procuring, or using instructional materials and for those who want to create better learning conditions and academic outcomes for English learners.  One set of Read more about Tools to Evaluate whether Instructional Materials meet English Learners’ Needs[…]

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Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials

Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and district education chiefs, released a report showing that many states, tacitly or explicitly, promote the use of low-quality K-12 instructional materials. In the most recent review cycles, some states did not approve even a single highly rated curriculum for school districts to use — despite research Read more about Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials[…]

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From Great Materials to Great Instruction

Instruction Partners, an organization that works with small school systems to strengthen instruction and accelerate student learning, has been working to understand what differentiates better outcomes in school reform projects. Up until now, research has held few practical answers about what specific actions could result in better implementation quality. Instruction Partners engaged in a two-year Read more about From Great Materials to Great Instruction[…]

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Instructional Coaches: The Heroes of the Golden Age of Educational Practice

Recently in the Fordham Flypaper, Michael Petrilli wrote about the practice and promise of instructional coaches. Excerpts from the piece appear below: Whether initiated from the bottom-up or the top-down, any effort to help educators align their practice with the best evidence is going to succeed or fail on the strength of its implementation. This Read more about Instructional Coaches: The Heroes of the Golden Age of Educational Practice[…]

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Thinking About Classroom Practice: Five Ideas for Education Reformers

Recently in Fordham’s Flypaper, Robert Pondiscio reflected a new direction for education reform: a focus on instructional practice. He writes: Shifting ed reform’s focus to improving practice is an acknowledgment that underperformance is not a failure of will, but a lack of capacity. It’s a talent-development and human capital-strategy, not an accountability play. Forcing changes Read more about Thinking About Classroom Practice: Five Ideas for Education Reformers[…]

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How Do You Build Continuously Improving Systems of Schools?

Over the last 20 years, eight U.S. cities have seen more students attending more effective schools at a faster pace than other urban areas. In Oakland, D.C., Denver, New Orleans, New York City, Newark, Camden, and Chicago, education leaders have increased the number of high-performing schools and set up systems that continuously improve. Bellwether Education’s Read more about How Do You Build Continuously Improving Systems of Schools?[…]

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The Importance of High-Quality Instructional Materials

Learning Forward has released a special open-access issue of The Learning Professional. It builds on a vital topic for educators: the use of high-quality instructional materials. All students deserve access to high-quality content, and all teachers deserve support to implement it well. The message from research is straightforward: instructional materials matter. Good materials in the Read more about The Importance of High-Quality Instructional Materials[…]

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The Year of Thinking Forward

In the Center for Public Education’s blog, The Lens, Robin Lake lays out 10 bold new ideas to push the education field toward the future. How can a shift in mindset from a portfolio of schools to a portfolio of learning opportunities help realize every student’s potential and prepare them to solve tomorrow’s most important Read more about The Year of Thinking Forward[…]

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Researchers Peek into the Black Box of the Classroom

Writing for Ed Excellence, Michael Petrilli has summarized some of the biggest problems with educational research and has proposed three promising pathways forward. Excerpts from his piece appear below: Whereas the world outside of our schools has been transformed by information technology, the data we collect on classroom practices is somewhere between nonexistent and laughably Read more about Researchers Peek into the Black Box of the Classroom[…]

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November Issue Brief: Systemic Education Reform

Improvement-minded educators and policymakers have found that changes to one element of the education system often have unintended consequences in other areas. As a result, it is important to consider the holistic system when implementing reforms. In Core Education’s November issue brief, we explore systems change in education. We explore resources that center on comprehensive Read more about November Issue Brief: Systemic Education Reform[…]

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Inside Tennessee’s Statewide Teacher Transformation

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act has placed authority for improving education squarely in states’ hands. In its latest report, Scaling Reform: Inside Tennessee’s Statewide Teacher Transformation, FutureEd chronicles how one state has achieved major changes, with powerful lessons for other states. Over the past decade, Tennessee has led one of the most comprehensive educator Read more about Inside Tennessee’s Statewide Teacher Transformation[…]

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Continuous Improvement in Practice

Calls for “continuous improvement” commonly arise in discussions about school improvement in the K-12 education system. But educators have various definitions of continuous improvement, and few know what continuous improvement looks like in practice. To advance this conversation, a new brief from WestEd helps to define continuous improvement both in theory and in practice, and Read more about Continuous Improvement in Practice[…]

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Teacher Perceptions of Feedback and Evaluation Systems; Findings from the American Teacher Panel

In recent years, state and local education leaders across the United States have revised their teacher evaluation policies and practices in an effort to enhance the quality of evaluation measures and improve instructional practices. These teacher evaluations are often based on multiple measures of performance, including classroom observations, indicators of teachers’ contributions to their students’ Read more about Teacher Perceptions of Feedback and Evaluation Systems; Findings from the American Teacher Panel[…]

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Preparing Educators and School Leaders for Effective Arts Integration

Research shows the positive impact of arts integration on students’ cognitive skills, engagement and attitudes about learning. How can states support educators and school leaders as they work to integrate the arts into core curricula? The Education Commission of the States has produced a new Preparing Educators and School Leaders for Effective Arts Integration report Read more about Preparing Educators and School Leaders for Effective Arts Integration[…]

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