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Jill Bergeron

Strengthening Student Engagement:A Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching - 0 views

  • To be effective in multicultural classrooms, teachers must relate teaching content to the cultural backgrounds of their students.
  • Engagement is the visible outcome of motivation, the natural capacity to direct energy in the pursuit of a goal. Our emotions influence our motivation. In turn, our emotions are socialized through culture—the deeply learned confluence of language, beliefs, values, and behaviors that pervades every aspect of our lives.
  • What may elicit that frustration, joy, or determination may differ across cultures, because cultures differ in their definitions of novelty, hazard, opportunity, and gratification, and in their definitions of appropriate responses. Thus, the response a student has to a learning activity reflects his or her culture.
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  • motivationally effective teaching is culturally responsive teaching.
  • Because the importance of grades and grade point averages increases as a student advances in school, it is legitimate to question whether extrinsic motivation systems are effective for significant numbers of students across cultures. We can only conclude that, as long as the educational system continues to relate motivation to learn with external rewards and punishments, culturally different students will, in large part, be excluded from engagement and success in school.
  • It is part of human nature to be curious, to be active, to initiate thought and behavior, to make meaning from experience, and to be effective at what we value. These primary sources of motivation reside in all of us, across all cultures. When students can see that what they are learning makes sense and is important, their intrinsic motivation emerges.
  • We can begin to replace the carrot and stick metaphor with the words “understand” and “elicit”; to change the concept of motivation from reward and punishment to communication and respect. We can influence the motivation of students by coming to know their perspective, by drawing forth who they naturally and culturally are, and by seeing them as unique and active. Sharing our resources with theirs, working together, we can create greater energy for learning.
  • A growing number of educational models, including constructivism and multiple multiple theory, are based on intrinsic motivation. They see student perspective as central to teaching.
  • Unfortunately, educators must often apply these theories within educational systems dominated by extrinsic reinforcement, where grades and class rank are emphasized. And, when extrinsic rewards continue to be the primary motivators, intrinsic motivation is dampened. Those students whose socialization accommodates the extrinsic approach surge ahead, while those students—often the culturally different—whose socialization does not, fall behind. A holistic, culturally responsive pedagogy based on intrinsic motivation is needed to correct this imbalance.
  • The framework names four motivational conditions that the teacher and students continuously create or enhance. They are: Establishing inclusion—creating a learning atmosphere in which students and teachers feel respected by and connected to one another. Developing attitude—creating a favorable disposition toward the learning experience through personal relevance and choice. Enhancing meaning—creating challenging, thoughtful learning experiences that include student perspectives and values. Engendering competence—creating an understanding that students are effective in learning something they value. These conditions are essential to developing intrinsic motivation. They are sensitive to cultural differences. They work in concert as they influence students and teachers, and they happen in a moment as well as over a period of time.
  • Figure 1. Four Conditions Necessary for Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • 1. Establish Inclusion Norms: Emphasize the human purpose of what is being learned and its relationship to the students' experience. Share the ownership of knowing with all students. Collaborate and cooperate. The class assumes a hopeful view of people and their capacity to change. Treat all students equitably. Invite them to point out behaviors or practices that discriminate. Procedures: Collaborative learning approaches; cooperative learning; writing groups; peer teaching; multi-dimensional sharing; focus groups; and reframing. Structures: Ground rules, learning communities; and cooperative base groups. 2. Develop Positive Attitude Norms: Relate teaching and learning activities to students' experience or previous knowledge. Encourage students to make choices in content and assessment methods based on their experiences, values, needs, and strengths. Procedures: Clear learning goals; problem solving goals; fair and clear criteria of evaluation; relevant learning models; learning contracts; approaches based on multiple multiple theory, pedagogical flexibility based on style, and experiential learning. Structure: Culturally responsive teacher/student/parent conferences.
  • 3. Enhance Meaning Norms: Provide challenging learning experiences involving higher order thinking and critical inquiry. Address relevant, real-world issues in an action-oriented manner. Encourage discussion of relevant experiences. Incorporate student dialect into classroom dialogue. Procedures: Critical questioning; guided reciprocal peer questioning; posing problems; decision making; investigation of definitions; historical investigations; experimental inquiry; invention; art; simulations; and case study methods. Structures: Projects and the problem-posing model. 4. Engender Competence Norms: Connect the assessment process to the students' world, frames of reference, and values. Include multiple ways to represent knowledge and skills and allow for attainment of outcomes at different points in time. Encourage self-assessment. Procedures: Feedback; contextualized assessment; authentic assessment tasks; portfolios and process-folios; tests and testing formats critiqued for bias; and self-assessment. Structures: Narrative evaluations; credit/no credit systems; and contracts for grades. Based on Wlodkowski, R. J., and M. B. Ginsberg. (1995). Diversity and Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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    This article offers up four conditions teachers can create in order to foster a culturally responsive classroom.
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 0 views

  • “Improvement [in writing] starts with volume. Volume suffers if I have to grade everything. Grading doesn’t make kids better. Volume, choice, and conferring makes kids better.”
  • “Give students daily opportunities to leave tracks of their thinking, use those tracks to notice patterns, and adjust instruction on the basis of what kids know and what they need. Repeat cycle.”
  • “Pre-assessment without associated action is like eating without digestion.”
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  • So far, says Sternberg, all the ways we’ve tried to measure raw intelligence haven’t worked.
  • No existing IQ or other test can separate past opportunities from test performance.
  • “If you understand the child’s knowledge and cognitive skills in a domain that is really meaningful to the child,” says Sternberg, “you will learn what the student is capable of doing in other domains, if only motivated to pursue those other domains.”
  • you cannot cleanly separate out measurement of intelligence from measurement of reading (obviously, a verbal skill). The same holds for other content domains.”
  • “The coach also needs to respect the teacher’s autonomy by offering feedback only on agreed-upon goals,” adds Finkelstein. “As tempting as it can be for coaches to identify areas for improvement, unsolicited suggestions can arouse defensiveness.”
  • Let the teacher “drive” the process.
  • the coach’s job in goal-setting is to search for points of agreement with the teacher and to direct her in ways likely to produce positive results.”
  • The coach’s role, she says, “is not to fix lessons or teachers but to support teachers’ abilities to meet students’ needs.
  • “Improvement starts with volume. Volume suffers if I have to grade everything. Grading doesn’t make kids better. Volume, choice, and conferring makes kids better.” This helped Tovani realize that she didn’t have to assess every piece of student writing, which allowed her to grade less and assess more: “I don’t have to always write the perfect comment or give a grade,” she says. “[W]hat’s most essential to improving the quality of students’ work is collecting feedback for ourselves from that work and noticing patterns in students’ skills (or lack thereof) that we can use to determine our next instructional moves.”
  • This view is critical to mitigating teacher resistance to feedback, which most teachers expect will be evaluative.” A smart strategy is to focus on what students have learned rather than the teacher’s skill executing lessons. “Collaboratively examining student performance can provide an effective third space for this kind of non-evaluative feedback,” she says.
  • “It is the coach’s responsibility to dispel any perception that her job is easier or more relaxed than the teacher’s.” This means writing lesson plans, citing standards, teaching lessons, collecting books and materials, helping with assessments, doing grading, and helping with other paperwork.
  • At the same time, the coach needs to think strategically about the teacher’s growth and development and ultimate independence.
  • “Coaches also walk the walk by using their access to authority in schools to advocate for teachers,”
  • Communicate clearly and transparently. Right from the start, coaches need to spell out key details of the partnership, including: -   The goals and time frame; -   When, why, and how the coach will observe in the classroom; -   What non-evaluative feedback will look and sound like; -   With whom the coach will (and will not) share feedback.
  • “Coaches must be particularly sensitive about writing down anything while visiting a classroom,”
  • share with the teacher any notes taken during observations.
  • Spend less time writing comments. -   Modify instruction based on what’s learned from students’ work. -   Build in time for students to revise their work based on feedback and self-assessment.
  • “Students compare my criteria of success with their performance,” she says, “and reflect on how my responses are alike or different from theirs.” If students do poorly on one of her quizzes, she’ll go over items in class, giving students a chance to add points by showing improvement.
  • There are plenty of reasons for resistance to being “helped” by an instructional coach, she says, often manifested in shallow acquiescence, avoidance, or overt hostility: -   Teachers believing (not without reason) that they’ve been singled out as deficient; -   Fear of being judged and exposed as ineffective with students; -   Fear that deficiencies unrelated to the presenting issue will be revealed; -   A belief that the instructional coach may report on them to the principal; -   Worries about being admonished by the principal; -   Discomfort examining their own practice; -   Anxiety about having to change.
  • Exit tickets – At the end of class, students jot one thing they figured out and one thing they’re wondering about. Tovani spreads these out on a table and draws conclusions about the next day’s lesson. “I don’t waste time writing comments,” she says. “I simply look for patterns, and when I’ve figured out a few, I throw the tickets away.”
  • Response journals – In individual composition notebooks, students reflect on their learning for the day. Tovani reads a third of these each day during her planning period, takes a third home, and reads the rest the next morning. “I limit my comments and challenge myself to identify patterns,” she says.
  • While commenting, she records her observations in four columns: students’ use of skills and strategies; confusing vocabulary; students’ questions related to the reading; and how skillfully students are dealing with a genre or text structure. She gives feedback or a quick correction to individual students or to the whole class.
  • “If pre-assessments simply demonstrate to students how little they know, this exercise may negatively affect their disposition toward the upcoming event,”
  • Teachers’ messaging needs to emphasize that a pre-assessment won’t count against students and the purpose is to help make lessons more effective and fun, highlight what’s going to be learned, and allow students to set goals.
  • To avoid giving pre-assessments that add little value, teachers should use them only when necessary, keep them short, using multiple-choice questions where possible, and limit questions to areas where the teacher genuinely doesn’t know how students will perform.
  • A thorough unit pre-assessment might well reveal four levels of student preparation in a single classroom: students who know the intended outcomes up front; students who have partial knowledge; students who have little or no knowledge; and students who have significant misconceptions. Trying to differentiate for all these students is a classroom management nightmare for even the most creative teacher. Guskey and McTighe suggest a compromise, with some highly engaging whole-class presentations and then significant decentralization and choice with frequent checks for understanding.
  • When possible, teachers should gather pre-assessment data with individual student dry-erase boards, clickers, or other methods that allow for rapid student input and teacher analysis and decision-making.
  • three guidelines to ensure that pre-assessments are practical, provide useful data, and enhance student learning:
  • Teachers should be clear about the purpose, both for themselves and their students. What new and helpful data will be gathered? Do students know why they are doing the pre-assessment?
  • Decide how the information will be used.
  • Possible follow-ups include reviewing essential knowledge and skills with the whole class, addressing misconceptions, providing targeted instruction, linking content to students’ interests, and differentiating for individuals or groups.
  • They’re not necessary for every new unit, say the authors – only when they can really add value and only if they’re short and can produce data that can be assessed quickly.
  • Taking three or more related courses in one career area boosted students’ chances of graduating from high school on time by 21 percent.
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 0 views

  • Every superintendent, or state commissioner, must be able to say, with confidence, ‘Everyone who teaches here is good. Here’s how we know. We have a system.
  • school-based administrators “don’t always have the skill to differentiate great teaching from that which is merely good, or perhaps even mediocre.” Another problem is the lack of consensus on how we should define “good teaching.”
    • Jill Bergeron
       
      We need consensus on how we define good teaching. We don't have metrics in place to determine good, mediocre and bad teaching.
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  • Only about six percent of teachers are ineffective, she continues. For the remaining 94 percent, the emphasis should shift from ratings to learning.
  • And what do we know about professional learning? That it requires: • Active intellectual engagement – That is, self-assessment, reflection on practice, and on-going conversations; • Trust – “Fear shuts people down,” says Danielson. “Learning, after all, entails vulnerability. The culture of the school and of the district must be one that encourages risk-taking.” • Challenge – “The culture must include an expectation that every teacher will engage in a career-long process of learning,” she says, “one that is never ‘finished.’ Teaching is simply too complex for anyone to believe that there is no more to learn.” • Teacher collaboration – PD and supervisory suggestions rarely drive classroom improvements, says Danielson. “Overwhelmingly, most teachers report that they learn more from their colleagues than from an ‘expert’ in a workshop… or being directed by a supervisor to read a certain book or take a particular course.” Most often, classroom improvement comes from working with colleagues analyzing student work and planning curriculum.
  • a new system should include: -   An emphasis on professional learning in a culture of trust and inquiry; -   A career ladder from probationary to continuing status after about three years; from that point on, the main emphasis becomes professional learning; -   Differentiation in the evaluation system, with novice teachers getting support from a mentor and being evaluated every year; -   Career teachers assessed periodically to ensure continuing quality; -   Teacher leadership positions (mentor, instructional coach, team leader) for which experienced teachers in good standing are eligible to apply; these come with training and support, extra compensation, or released time during the regular school day; -   The ability to identify seriously underperforming teachers, support their improvement, and if sufficient progress isn’t made, deny them tenure or continuing employment.
  • “Former service members tend to be committed to their students and tenacious in their efforts to improve,” say Parham and Gordon. Some early studies suggest that over time, veterans are stronger in classroom management, instructional practices, and student results.
  • Veterans who have had life-and-death combat experiences “tend to have low tolerance for petty politics in schools or for initiatives that seem unrelated to educating students. Former service members may sometimes seem overly assertive in discussions with colleagues.”
  • Veterans entering the classroom may feel like novices and have to adjust to their students not snapping to attention when given an order.
  • Veterans who are used to explicit operating procedures have to decode the unspoken expectations on how to relate to colleagues, handle student discipline, deal with parent concerns, get supplies, and get help.
  • “Discussions of shared experiences, shared values, and shared goals can help veterans and other teachers begin to build relationships.”
  • This might consist of a well-chosen mentor (similar to their “battle buddy” in the military), a support team (perhaps a grade-level or subject team that meets regularly), and a support network with other veterans in the school or district.
  • Veterans need an especially thorough briefing as they enter a new setting, including policies, procedures (copying machines, grading, and more), formal and informal rules, and a map of the school.
  • up to speed on teaching priorities, curriculum breadth versus depth, dealing with student differences, lesson planning, instructional materials, and, of course, discipline.
  • Support for this common challenge can come from peer coaching, observing expert teachers, workshops, articles and books, and seminars.
  • Effective teachers assign tasks that require explanation or require students to organize material in meaningful ways. Stories and mnemonics are also helpful in getting students to impose meaning on hard-to-remember content.
  • Effective teachers make content explicit through carefully paced explanation, modeling, and examples; present new information through multiple modalities; and make good use of worked problems.
  • Rather, the mastery of new concepts happens in fits and starts. “Content should not be kept from students because it is ‘developmentally inappropriate,’” says the report. “To answer the question ‘is the student ready?’ it’s best to consider ‘has the student mastered the prerequisites?’”
  • we shouldn’t push skeptical students to say, “Natural selection is one of the most important ways species came to be differentiated.” Better for them to say, “Most scientists think natural selection is one of the best explanations.”
  • Practice is essential to learning new facts, but not all practice is equally effective.
  • Frequent quizzes with low stakes, and students testing themselves, help establish long-term retention through the “retrieval effect.”
  • Each subject has basic facts that support higher-level learning by freeing working memory and illuminating applications.
  • Students learn new ideas by linking them to what they already know.
  • To transfer learning to a novel problem, students need to know the problem’s context and its underlying structure.
  • Explicitly comparing the examples helps students remember the underlying similarities. With multi-step procedures, students need to identify and label the sub-steps so they can apply them to similar problems. It’s also helpful to alternate concrete examples and abstract representations.
  • Motivation is improved if students believe that intelligence and ability can be improved through hard work, and if adults respond to successful work by praising effective effort rather than innate ability. It’s also helpful for teachers to set learning goals (e.g., mastering specific material) rather than performance goals (competing with others or vying for approval).
  • Intrinsic motivation leads to better long-term outcomes than extrinsic motivation.
  • It’s difficult to gauge one’s own learning and understanding. That’s why students need to learn how to monitor their own learning through assessments, self-testing, and explanation.
  • Students will be more motivated and successful when they believe they belong and are accepted.
  • Teachers need to recognize and dispel a set of incorrect beliefs about teaching and learning: -   Misconception #1: Students have different “learning styles.” -   Misconception #2: Humans use only 10 percent of their brains. -   Misconception #3: People are preferentially “right-brained” or “left-brained” in how they think. -   Misconception #4: Novices and experts think in all the same ways. -   Misconception #5: Cognitive development progresses in age-related stages.
  • having students work in groups for 30-45 minutes coming up with test questions that might be used (or reworded) in the actual exam. This is a two-fer, says Lang: it not only gives students a sense of control over their learning but also serves as an effective review session.
  • Open assessments – This involves leaving 10 percent of the syllabus for an assignment that students create with the instructor.
  • Class constitutions – Having students collectively come up with ground rules for a course gives them a collegial sense of working together toward a shared purpose.
  • “Teaching evolutionary theory is not in and of itself religious indoctrination.” That’s because evolution is not a religion. “How could a religion have no beliefs about the supernatural? No rituals? No moral commandments?”
  • ask students to learn about evolution without insisting that they believe it.
  • Good feedback is specific and clear, focused on the task rather than the student, explanatory, and directed toward improvement rather than merely verifying performance.
  • “It turns out children are better able to cope if they understand what they’re going through is normal, that it affects everyone, and that it will pass,” comments Adam Gamoran of the William T. Grant Foundation. “How we think about a stressful situation influences how we feel and how we perform.” Studies like this, he says, “show how deeply intertwined are cognition and emotion.”
  • use of Twitter in his middle-school science classroom
  • Connecting students to reputable, relevant scientific people and organizations in real time
  • Twitter as authentic audience – Students constantly tweet ideas, assignments, projects, suggestions, and photographs to each other, broadening the reach of their thinking.
  • Twitter as embedded literacy – Students get plenty of practice with succinct writing as they share analyses and observations.
  • Managing students’ encounters with objectionable material from the outside world, including occasional use of profanity and sexually suggestive follower requests.
  • Comparing services – Proportional reasoning, equations, creating and analyzing graphs, and number sense; -   Planning a budget – Organizing and representing information and number sense; -   Determining the costs and payoffs of higher education – Percentages, compound interest, and rates; -   Playing the Stock Market Game – Ratios, proportional reasoning, reading and analyzing reports and graphs, and algebraic thinking (e.g., gains and losses).
  • “The term generally refers to using a wide variety of hands-on activities (such as building, computer programming, and even sewing) to support academic learning and the development of a mindset that values playfulness and experimentation, growth and iteration, and collaboration and community. Typically, ‘making’ involves attempting to solve a particular problem, creating a physical or digital artifact, and sharing that product with a larger audience. Often, such work is guided by the notion that process is more important than results.”
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    ""Researchers Probe Equity, Design Principles in Maker Ed." by Benjamin Herold in Education Week, April 20, 2016 (Vol. 35, #28, p. 8-9), www.edweek.org"
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 2 views

  • 1. What makes a team effective? 2. A new perspective on closing the achievement gap 3. Project-based learning 101 4. A school network experiments with high tech and student choice 5. Opening up a daily 40-minute block in a North Carolina high school 6. How to hold onto high-quality new teachers 7. The effect of reading about the struggles of accomplished scientists
  • Project Aristotle, as it was dubbed, found that some team characteristics that seemed intuitively important – members sharing interests and hobbies, having similar educational backgrounds, socializing after hours – didn’t correlate with team success.
  • The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.”
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  • Then Project Aristotle began looking at group norms – the culture of unwritten rules that guide people when they collaborate – and hit pay dirt. It turned out that two group norms were shared by virtually all of Google’s most effective teams: -   Equal air time – In teams that got the best results, members participated roughly the same amount during meetings. “As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well,” said Google researcher Anita Woolley. “But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined.” -   Interpersonal sensitivity – Effective team members had the ability to intuit how colleagues felt by their tone of voice, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues. The members of less-effective teams were less tuned in to their teammates’ feelings.
  • The behaviors that create psychological safety – conversational turn-taking and empathy – are part of the same unwritten rules we often turn to, as individuals, when we need to establish a bond. And those human bonds matter as much at work as anywhere else. In fact, they sometimes matter more.”
  • In the best teams, members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs.”
  • He believes there are two “ubiquitous features of conventional school environments” that trigger and reinforce the psychological factors noted above, augment the disadvantages with which minority students enter school, and feed the peer pressures to disengage from schooling – all of which creates a self-reinforcing downward spiral of achievement. The two features are: -   Students being given work that is too difficult for their current academic level; -   Students getting low grades on their work rather than frequent, individualized, objective feedback.
  • “The hypothesis,” say Yeh, “is that the conventional school system is inadvertently structured in a way that fosters disengagement, thereby reducing effort, which depresses achievement and grades, causing demoralization, which further reduces engagement and achievement.” The process kicks in around third grade, when struggling students begin to view themselves as intellectually inferior because their grades are lower than their classmates’, contributing to decreased self-efficacy and increasing passivity; it accelerates in middle school, at which point low grades strongly correlate with eventually dropping out.
  • What is to be done? Yeh’s theory is that by flipping the two pernicious factors, schools can turn the downward spiral into a virtuous upward cycle of achievement. That involves: -   Adjusting task difficulty for low-performing students to an appropriate level of challenge so that if they apply effective effort, they will be successful. -   Rapid performance feedback with respect to a standard, not other students.
  • He cites positive research on two programs using this approach – Reading Assessment and Math Assessment – and reports on a systematic study comparing different interventions aimed at closing the achievement gap – charter schools, voucher programs, an additional year of school, various high-quality pre-school programs, full-day kindergarten, class size reduction, value-added assessment, summer school, teacher salary incentives, teacher experience, teacher PD, longer school day, computer instruction, tutoring, and school reform. Rapid assessment is dramatically more successful at raising student achievement than any of the others.
  • by far the most powerful and cost-effective intervention is to adjust task difficulty and provide students with prompt, objective feedback on their efforts.
  • “When students engage in project-based learning over the course of their time in school,” says John Larmer (Buck Institute for Education) in this article in Educational Leadership, “there’s an accumulating effect. They feel empowered. They see that they can make a difference.” In addition, they’re more likely to acquire the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed for college and career success.
  • the key elements of project-based learning, carefully planned and skillfully managed by the teacher:
  • A challenging problem or question
  • Sustained inquiry
  • Authenticity
  • Student voice and choice
  • Reflection
  • Critique and revision
  • Public product
  • four ways that project-based learning can go off the rails and not fulfill its potential: -   Mistake #1: Using materials that aren’t truly project-based; beware of PBL-lite! -   Mistake #2: Providing inadequate training and support for teachers; one-shot workshops are not enough. -   Mistake #3: Over-using projects in the curriculum; basic skills can still be taught in a more conventional format. -   Mistake #4: Implementing project-based learning on an ad hoc basis; to get the long-term effect, students need to engage in high-quality projects on a regular basis through their school years.
  • AltSchools encourage students to dive into topics they’re passionate about, with teachers tracking everything they do using classroom video cameras and elaborate K-8 databases. The schools make a point of shaping diverse student bodies by giving scholarships to students whose parents can’t afford the $30,000-a-year tuition.
  • We are raising a generation that will have the sum of human knowledge at their fingertips, for every minute of their life, so clearly education needs to change to accommodate that.”
  • “Basically, what we have told teachers is we have hired you for your creative teacher brains, and anytime you are doing something that doesn’t require your creative teacher brain that a computer could be doing as well as or better than you, then a computer should do it.”
  • To a computer measuring keystrokes, a student zoning out because he’s bored is indistinguishable from one who is moved by her book to imagine a world of her own.”
  • “People are very focused on the algorithm. But equally important is the quality of the materials” – the clarity of the math questions and the worthiness of the readings being presented on students’ computer screens. Willingham also notes that teachers in high-tech classrooms often have to prepare two lesson plans – one that uses the technology and one for when the technology breaks down.
  • Hire capable, well-matched teachers. Detailed advertisements and postings are important to giving candidates a clear idea of each position, says Clement. She also recommends longer interviews with more candidates, enlisting experienced teachers to take part in interviews, and gathering information on candidates from multiple sources.
  • Provide continuous professional development. This should include induction that eases new teachers into the demands of the full job – orientation before classes begin, well-matched mentors through the first five years, and ongoing PD specific to rookies’ needs.
  • Use colleagues to provide feedback. Traditional “gotcha” teacher evaluation has rarely been helpful in supporting new teachers, says Clement. Trained mentors can provide non-evaluative feedback that really makes a difference, perhaps with a firewall between their observations and the formal evaluation process. Of course it’s important that incoming teachers know the district’s criteria for effective teaching and are familiar with how administrators will assess their work.
  • Understand millennials. “This generation of teachers wants to network and have input,” says Clement. Most have a strong preference for electronic interaction, and administrators and colleagues should meet young teachers where they are tech-wise and provide strong online resources.
  • • Provide leadership opportunities. “While many new teachers are just surviving, others actively seek an avenue to truly make a difference,” says Clement. To find fulfillment in teaching and stay in the profession, they need to get involved in meaningful roles outside their classrooms. Some possibilities: speaking at induction ceremonies and serving on a welcome committee for the newest hires; leading book study groups; taking part in social service organizations on campus; and serving on curriculum committees
  • students who read about scientists’ struggles, whether intellectual or personal, got better grades in science after reading the texts. The positive effect was most pronounced among students whose science grades were low before the experiment.
  • Another finding: both before and after reading the texts, students who had a “growth” mindset (effort, not innate talent, determines success) tended to do better in science classes than students with a “fixed” mindset.
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    This week's articles cover PBL, differentiation, effective teams, tech integration, teacher retention and science teaching and learning.
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