Research

New Product: HighScope Educational Research Foundation’s The HighScope Curriculum

New Product: HighScope Educational Research Foundation’s The HighScope Curriculum

Is your district looking for materials to support student independence? Take a look at Learning List’s review of HighScope Educational Research Foundation’s The HighScope Curriculum.

The HighScope Curriculumis a comprehensive program for Prekindergarten. The program supports instruction in the ten domains of the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines through “active participatory learning, positive adult-child interactions, engaging learning environments, and a consistent daily routine.”  

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How Can Instructional Materials Support Growth Mindset?

How Can Instructional Materials Support Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset, a term coined by Carol Dweck, addresses the beliefs and resulting actions that people have about learning. People with a growth mindset believe that their abilities, intelligence levels, and skills will improve over time and as a result of effort. They believe they can learn.

Much of what is written about growth mindset and the strategies to develop it focuses on pedagogy. While establishing a growth mindset culture in the classroom is primarily dependent on the teacher’s behavior, expectations and instruction, the design and contents of the instructional materials can also support or hinder the development of growth mindset.

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Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

If your district is gearing up for an adoption this year, part of your selection calculation likely will be whether to purchase print or digital/online materials.  An article in the Hechinger Report  titled, “A Textbook Dilemma: Digital or Paper?” may be useful.

The article discusses Patricia Alexander’s review of research on this topic. Ms. Alexander is an educational psychologist and a literacy scholar at the University of Maryland. Despite numerous (878) potentially relevant studies on the topic, Ms. Alexander pointed out that “only 36 [studies] directly compared reading in digital and in print and measured learning in a reliable way.” Despite the need for further research on this topic, Ms. Alexander found that numerous studies affirm the finding that: “if you are reading something lengthy – more than 500 words or more than a page of the book or screen – your comprehension will likely take a hit if you’re using a digital device.” This pertained to college students as well as students in elementary, middle, and high school.    

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How Learning List Helps Districts Comply with ESSA’s “Evidence Based” Requirement

A recent report from Curriculum Associates discusses the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) requirement that federal education funds be used for evidence-based programs, interventions, and products. “ESSA and Evidence Claims: A Practical Guide to Understanding What ‘Evidence-Based’ Really Means” provides a primer for educators in understanding the four levels of evidence recognized by ESSA (e.g., moderate evidence), the type of study that exemplifies each level (e.g., quasi-experimental), and the five questions educators should ask when evaluating research-based evidence (e.g., “When was the study conducted?”).

One of five questions for evaluating evidence, in particular, caught Learning List’s attention: “Was the study based on current content and standards?”

ESSA assumes that the evidence base for a product, program, or service is based on the state’s current standards, but it is possible that the research is grounded in prior state standards or another state’s standards, altogether. It is the district’s responsibility to vet information to ensure products purchased with federal funds and the evidence supporting the products’ effectiveness are based on the appropriate standards.

A tall order but Learning List can help.

Learning List’s alignment reports clarify which set of standards a product addresses, such as the Common Core State Standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Our alignment reports evaluate the product’s alignment, determining whether the material fully addresses the content, context, and cognitive demand of each of the relevant standards. Thus, Learning List’s alignment reports provide strong evidence about whether a product is grounded in the relevant standards. [Read more…]

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New Review: The University of Chicago’s Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research

Learning List recently reviewed Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research from The University of Chicago Press. This supplemental resource is available in print and eBook formats and provides an introduction to information literacy and research. Learning List recently reviewed print resources for their support of instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Research and AP Seminar courses.

Reviewers found Information Now to be an engaging introduction to academic research. The text is presented in the form of a graphic novel and uses black and white comic-book-style illustrations and incorporates a humorous approach instruction. The text does not address the full scope of a research methodology course; instead, it focuses more narrowly on how to find, evaluate, and use information ethically and effectively. Instruction seeks to move students away from general Google searches and reliance on sources such as Wikipedia.

Chapters address techniques for searching Web resources, library catalogs and databases, and academic journals. Students learn strategies for finding credible sources, identifying bias, and ensuring that sources are cited appropriately in their work.  The text emphasizes the value of library resources and librarian expertise when conducting research and covers current issues, such as the use of metadata and search engines.

Each chapter ends with critical thinking activities that ask students to reflect on their prior experiences conducting research as well as the new skills they are learning. Students are encouraged to use social media (e.g., blogs, Twitter, websites) to track and reflect on their learning.

[Source: The University of Chicago]

[Source: The University of Chicago]

About The University of Chicago Press*

Since its origins in 1890 as one of the three main divisions of the University of Chicago, the Press has embraced as its mission the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago’s experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor.

In addition to publishing the results of research for communities of scholars, the Press presents innovative scholarship in ways that inform and engage general readers. We develop reference works and educational texts that draw upon and support the emphases of our scholarly programs and that extend the intellectual reach of the Press. We publish significant non-scholarly work by writers, artists, and intellectuals from within and beyond the academy; translations of important foreign-language texts, both historical and contemporary; and books that contribute to the public’s understanding of Chicago and its region. In all of this, the Press is guided by the judgment of individual editors who work to build a broad but coherent publishing program engaged with authors and readers around the world.

The Press also recognizes the obligation to match the form of our publications to our readers’ needs by pursuing innovations in print and electronic technologies. In our books and journals programs as well as in our distribution business, the Press pioneers new ways of extending the availability and accessibility of knowledge, and the intellectual exchange that thrives on them.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from The University of Chicago Press.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to full editorial reviews, alignment reports and spec sheets.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility Instructional Model

Recognizing that districts are more likely to provide effective instruction when they select instructional materials that incorporate the same approach to instruction, Learning List has begun a series of blog posts about instructional models and the products that use them to frame instruction.  A previous post looked at the 5E Model; in this post, we examine the Gradual Release of Responsibility, or GRR, model.  

As its name suggests, the GRR model gradually transfers responsibility for learning from teachers to students.  The model provides a framework that allows teachers to share knowledge and ensures that students develop competence with new concepts and skills.

According to Fisher and Frey (2008), the GRR model is made up of four components:

  1. Focus Lesson. Often referred to as the “I do” part of the GRR model, the focus lesson is an activity or lesson in which teachers establish the purpose for learning, identify the standards to be taught, connect content to prior learning, and model new content and skills.
  2. Guided Instruction. During guided instruction, teachers guide students through new learning tasks, providing support in the form of questions, prompts, clues, and suggested strategies. Known as the “we do” part of the GRR model, guided instruction may take place in whole group or small group formats. As teachers work with students, they have opportunities to formatively assess learning and provide direct instruction to individual students or small groups who are struggling with concepts.
  3. Collaborative Learning. In this part of the GRR model, students work with peers to practice new skills, clarify concepts, solve problems, and create products. Teachers move between small groups identifying misconceptions and providing support. This is known as “we do it together” part of the model.
  4. Independent Practice. In the final “you do” step of the GRR model, students complete learning tasks independently, synthesizing information and applying their learning in new situations. Students may rely on notes or ask for support, but they are individually responsible for learning outcomes.

The goal of the GRR model is to move from teacher-directed learning to a student-centered, collaborative learning environment.  This transfer may occur over the course of a day’s lesson, a multi-day activity, a unit that lasts several weeks, or even longer periods of instruction. In order to implement the GRR model effectively, curricula and instructional materials need to be vertically aligned so that that sequence of instruction is coherent and students are not missing key instructional pieces or repeating content that they have already learned. When students have access to aligned curricula and purposeful implementation of the GRR model, they have a greater chance of becoming capable and self-confident learners who are able to take responsibility for their own work.

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