Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"Modern" teaching methods are too clever by half

Meta-analysis of 50yrs of research shows that traditional teaching methods, 'direct instruction,' with daily checks & regular testing have significant positive effects on student achievement. How much $$ has been wasted when the olds knew what they were doing all along?

The Effectiveness of Direct Instruction Curricula: A Meta-Analysis of a Half Century of Research

Jean Stockard et al.


Quantitative mixed models were used to examine literature published from 1966 through 2016 on the effectiveness of Direct Instruction. Analyses were based on 328 studies involving 413 study designs and almost 4,000 effects.

Results are reported for the total set and subareas regarding reading, math, language, spelling, and multiple or other academic subjects; ability measures; affective outcomes; teacher and parent views; and single-subject designs.

All of the estimated effects were positive and all were statistically significant except results from metaregressions involving affective outcomes.

Characteristics of the publications, methodology, and sample were not systematically related to effect estimates.

 Effects showed little decline during maintenance, and effects for academic subjects were greater when students had more exposure to the programs.

Estimated effects were educationally significant, moderate to large when using the traditional psychological benchmarks, and similar in magnitude to effect sizes that reflect performance gaps between more and less advantaged students.

Review of Educational Research

No-nonsense school orders pupils to be completely SILENT between lessons – and sees a HUGE improvement in behaviour

The Albany School in Havering, East London claims to be transforming pupils’ behaviour by asking them not to speak

A STATE school has become the first in the country to instigate total silence between lessons - and has seen a HUGE improvement in their pupils' behaviour.

The old-fashioned rules at The Albany School in Hornchurch mean students must walk in an orderly line between lessons in complete silence and queue on the playground three times a day - also in silence - before heading to lessons.

The no-nonsense East London school claims to be transforming pupils’ behaviour by asking them not to speak.

And Year Ten students, who are studying for their GCSEs, have been told that they must stay an extra hour after school four days a week to work without speaking from September.

Headteacher Val Masson said she decided to revive stricter methods of teaching and said that after introducing her silent rules, the number of pupils in isolation for poor behaviour halved in just a month.

She said: "We wanted a calm and academic atmosphere like a high-end institution."  She continued: “It encourages a no raised voices environment. I don’t agree with raising voices to children and usually staff only need to do that if there is a lot of noise."

As part of the new regime students from Years Seven, Eight and Nine are made to queue silently in the playground three times a day - before school, and after morning and lunch break.

Mrs Masson, 51, said: “Students have three minutes to queue and they line up in their form group. “When the second bell goes, they’re expected to fall silent.

“Then a senior staff member or a head of year, including myself, will encourage them to enjoy and get the most out of their next lesson. We take the time to praise them for high standards of things like uniform and punctuality.”

Mrs Masson said the scheme was “divisive” when it was first suggested in meetings with other members of staff, but she says staff have noticed a marked improvement in how calm many of their 900 pupils are.

She added: “We’ve seen far fewer lessons starting late... Now they’re beginning on average three minutes earlier. If you multiply that, it’s 15 minutes extra teaching a day."

“When students don’t settle, we have a relocation system that sees them sent to another classroom to settle down. That system has almost reduced to zero... That's because a lot of distraction was happening at the beginning of the lessons.”

And it was the success of the scheme that spurred on Mrs Masson to push the boundaries by asking Year Ten students to stay an hour later from next year to do their work in silence.


Senior High school English courses drastically dumbed down in Queensland


ENGLISH students will study DJ playlists and street art in a new senior high school syllabus branded "edutainment". Online games, as well as websites set up by tattoo artists, are listed as "texts" in the new Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) guidelines, starting next year.

Year 11 and Year 12 students will not even have to read any books in Essential English - a basic course for students who plan to work straight after high school. While mainstream English students will study Shakespeare and Australian novels, the Essential English students can watch YouTube videos and logs, analyse SMS text messages or interpret Twitter or Facebook posts instead.

The curriculum defines designers, digital storytellers and vlog creators as "writers", along with novelists, poets and playwrights. The "texts" students can study include "non-verbal or visual communication", including street art and apps.

One assignment task is "an explanation of a DJ's playlist that has been designed for a function or event". Another is "selling or explicating a website designed to enhance the public image of a popular text producer". "Text producers can include, but are not limited to: tattoo artists, authors, film and theatre directors, photographers, musicians, hair and make-up artists, and graphic designers," the document states.

Students will also be taught how to write job applications and resumes, and study work-place signage and work-related legislation. QCAA chief executive Chris Rider said the syllabus "suggests study topics about aspects of popular culture that students will find engaging and relate to".

State Education Minister Grace Grace said the new syllabus had been designed by experts for the needs of vocational students. Education academic and former teacher Kevin Donnelly yesterday criticised the new Queensland syllabus as "edutainment".

Not online.  From p.3 of the "Courier Mail", 21 July, 2018

No comments: