Does your school have a shared sense of what “educational gold” looks like? I came across this term in Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine’s excellent new book, In Search of Deeper Learning. These two did the research I’d always dreamed of doing — they went out and found schools that are succeeding with challenging…Read More
All articles filed in What research is saying
What DO we know about grading?
I finally finished reading What We Know About Grading, a 2019 ASCD book summarizing a century of research on grading. Probably doesn’t sound compelling to most people — it’s not going to top the New York Times bestseller list — but I wanted to know what the research says, since we spend so much of…Read More
Is flipping ‘out’?
Does “flipping” your classroom really work? I’ve written about this a few times since I first flipped my AP Macro class two years ago. In my (anecdotal) experience, it’s been extremely effective. But a new study from West Point (reported in this EdWeek blog) says not so fast. Is it time for me to reconsider?…Read More
Could design thinking help us design better school policies?
I’m reading Tim Brown’s book Change by Design, part of my prep work for my job as Chief Educator-in-Residence at Quarter Zero, and I keep wondering: What if we used design thinking to tackle everyday problems in schools? For example, tardies. Tardies drive high school teachers and administrators crazy for so many reasons, but here…Read More
Schoolwork deadlines: Are they valuable, or just arbitrary rules?
Few issues spark more disagreement among teachers than late work. On one side: The real world has real deadlines. High school students need to learn this lesson now. On the other: Grades should reflect what students know — not their ability to meet arbitrary deadlines. Both sides have good points. The real world does have…Read More
A ‘fitbit’ to remind us to talk less
How much of your class time is teacher talk? How much is student talk? I noted in my book, Beat Boredom, that less than 2 minutes of a typical 60-minute English class is spent in genuine student-to-student discussion. That’s deeply concerning because students are better engaged and learning more when they are talking. Did you…Read More
Let’s show teens we value sleep
This year, my school district pushed back the high school start time from 7:25 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. in response to community pressure and research showing positive results from later starts — such as fewer tardies/truancies, higher grades, fewer car accidents and better mental health. The underlying goal, of course, was to get teenage students…Read More
Time to stop believing education myths
One of my sons gave me a book called 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology for Christmas. It was a perfect gift — he knows how much I love reading about flaws in “common sense” and popular opinion. This is one of those books you can flip through and read in any order, so I…Read More
Sure, that sounds good… but what about math?
“When you start talking about authentic instruction and assessment, the math teachers in the room stop listening.” Not true for all math teachers, I know. But one math teacher pulled me aside after a recent workshop to share this observation. Math teachers — especially those teaching higher level courses like trigonometry and calculus — know their…Read More
‘Cold-calling’ — done right — is an effective way to build classroom participation
Presenting in front of the class makes me uncomfortable. If the teacher calls on me, I tense up and can’t speak. Running in phy ed makes me self-conscious and ashamed. There are a lot of things we ask of students that they don’t want to do. Does that mean we should stop asking? Earlier this…Read More