Education Drivers

Instructional Delivery

Instructional competencies are essential practices that teachers must master for effectively instructing students to maximize knowledge and skill acquisition. Research reveals that not all instruction is equal in producing results. Unfortunately, many popular instructional practices are not supported by rigorous research and have contributed to 40 years of stagnant performance on achievement tests such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). For generations, the teacher lecture has been the preferred method of instruction, but studies show it is far less effective than more stimulating active learning practices. We now know that better learning happens in dynamic settings in which teachers offer explicit active instruction that emphasizes student participation and demonstrates the content taught. An explicit approach focuses on well-designed and sequenced lessons linked to “big ideas,” offers ample opportunities for students to respond and practice the lesson content, and includes mastered knowledge or skills in subsequent lessons to maintain learning.

Teacher Competencies Overview PDF

Research tells us what can be expected from a teacher employing instructional strategies and practices that are proven to lead to increased mastery of lessons. Better learning happens in a dynamic setting in which teachers offer explicit active instruction than in situations in which teachers do not actively guide instruction and instead turn control over content and pace of instruction to students (Hattie, 2009).

 

Is there a diverse set of practices that teachers can efficiently and effectively use to increase mastery of content for a variety of curricula? The structured and systematic approach of explicit instruction emphasizes mastery of the lesson to ensure that students understand what has been taught, become fluent in new material, and can generalize what they learn to novel situations they encounter in the future.

The following are hallmarks of an explicit approach for teachers (Archer & Hughes, 2011; Knight, 2012).

  1. Teacher selects the learning area to be taught.
  2. Teacher sets criteria for success.
  3. Teacher informs students of criteria ahead of the lesson.
  4. Teacher demonstrates to the students successful use of the knowledge/skills through modeling.
  5. Teacher evaluates student acquisition.
  6. Teacher provides remedial opportunities for acquiring the knowledge/skills, if necessary.
  7. Teacher provides closure at the end of the lesson.


A common complaint of an explicit instruction approach is that it does not offer sufficient opportunities for students to build on acquired knowledge/skills in creative and novel ways that help them to assimilate the material. The reality is that all effective instruction, regardless of philosophy, must aid students in generalizing newly taught knowledge/skills in a context that is greater than a single lesson. An explicit model accomplishes the goal of building toward “big ideas” by first emphasizing mastery of foundation skills such as reading and mathematics, and then systematically introducing opportunities to integrate these critical skills in discovery-based lessons to maximize students’ experience of success.

Effective explicit instruction practices include these features.

  1. Well-designed and planned instruction: Instruction that is well planned moves students from their current level of competency toward explicit criteria for success.
  2. Instructional design with clear instructional objectives: The teacher should present these objectives to students for each lesson.
  3. Scope and sequencing: The teacher should teach the range of related skills and the order in which they should be learned.
  4. Instruction that offers sufficient opportunities for successful acquisition:
  5. High rates of responding for each student to practice the skill: The teacher should provide sufficient opportunities for unpunished errors and ample reinforcement for success.
  6. Sufficient quantity of instruction: The teacher should allocate enough time to teach a topic.
  7. Teaching to mastery: Students need to learn the knowledge/skills to criteria that are verified by teachers or students’ peers.
  8. Teaching foundation knowledge/skills that become the basis for teaching big ideas: Current lessons should be built on past knowledge to increase fluency and maintain mastery of material. The teacher should relate lessons to complex issues and big ideas that provide deeper meaning and give students better understanding of the content.

Citations

Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2011). Explicit instruction: Efficient and effective teaching. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

Cornelius-White, J. (2007). Learner-centered teacher-student relationships are effective: A meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 77(1), 113–143.

Hattie, J., (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses related to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

Jackson, P. W. (1990). Life in classrooms. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Knight, J. (2012). High-impact instruction: A framework for great teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Sanders, W. L., & Rivers, J. C. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student academic achievement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Value-Added Research and Assessment Center. Retrieved from http://heartland.org/policy-documents/cumulative-and-residual-effects-teachers-future-student-academic-achievement.

Walberg, H. (1999). Productive teaching. In H. C. Waxman & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), New directions for teaching practice and research (pp. 75–104). Berkeley, CA: McCutchen Publishing.

Wenglinsky, H. (2002). How schools matter: The link between teacher classroom practices and student academic performance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10(12).

White, W. A. T. (1988). A meta-analysis of the effects of direct instruction in special education. Education and Treatment of Children, 11(4), 364–374.

 

Data Mining

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
How effective are teacher-training programs at teaching the skills of reading?
This review lookes at teacher pre-service efforts to provide comprehensive instruction in the 5 critical practice elements identified for effective reading instruction.
States, J. (2011). How effective are teacher-training programs at teaching the skills of reading? Retrieved from how-effective-are-teacher.

 

Presentations

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Effective Teaching Practices: Narrowing the Field
This paper distills the research on effective teaching practices to basic assumptions and core practices. It presents a impact-cost paradigm for rating and prioritizing such practices.
Heward, W. (2013). Effective Teaching Practices: Narrowing the Field [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2013-wing-presentation-william-heward.

 

Student Research

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Supporting teachers’ professional development: Investigating the impact of a targeted intervention on teacher’ presentation of opportunities to respond.
This study evaluated a multi-tiered system of support for teachers to increase the rate of teacher presented opportunities to respond.
MacSuga-Gage, A. S. (2012). Supporting teachers’ professional development: Investigating the impact of a targeted intervention on teacher’ presentation of opportunities to respond. Retrieved from student-research-2012.
Effects of behavioral skills training and instruction coaching on teachers’ implementation of empirically supported procedures.
This study evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training and coaching to help new teachers implemented empirically supported practices. Also, evaluated was the quality of implementation (treatment integrity) as function of coaching.
Sawyer, M. (2013). Effects of behavioral skills training and instruction coaching on teachers’ implementation of empirically supported procedures. Retrieved from student-research-2013.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Teaching naming relatives to individuals with autism using simultaneous prompting
This study examines the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting in teaching naming relatives to
Akmanoglu-Uludag, N., & Batu, S. (2005). Teaching naming relatives to individuals with autism using simultaneous prompting. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 40(4), 401.
Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing

This meta-analysis examined the effects of practice tests versus non-testing learning conditions on student performance. Research demonstrates that students who take practice tests often outperform students in non-testing learning conditions such as restudying, practice, filler activities, or no presentation of the material. Results reveal that practice tests are more beneficial for learning than restudying and all other comparison conditions.

Adesope, O. O., Trevisan, D. A., & Sundararajan, N. (2017). Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing. Review of Educational Research, 0034654316689306.

Use of differential reinforcement to reduce behavior problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: A methodological review

The purpose of this literature review is to summarize and provide a methodological analysis of studies using a differential reinforcement to reduce problem behaviors.

Chowdhury, M., & Benson, B. A. (2011). Use of differential reinforcement to reduce behavior problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: A methodological review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(2), 383-394.

Using active supervision and precorrection to improve transition behaviors in an elementary school

This study investigates the effect of a school-wide intervention plan, consisting of precorrection and active supervision strategies, on the social behavior of elementary students.

Colvin, G., Sugai, G., Good III, R. H., & Lee, Y. Y. (1997). Using active supervision and precorrection to improve transition behaviors in an elementary school. School Psychology Quarterly, 12(4), 344.

Explicit instruction in mathematics problem solving

This study examines the impact of explicit instruction strategies on student mathematic performance.

Darch, C., Carnine, D., & Gersten, R. (1984). Explicit instruction in mathematics problem solving. The Journal of Educational Research, 351-359.

Classwide peer tutoring

The purpose of this article is to discuss classwide peer tutoring as an effective instructional procedure. The article is organized into three major sections:(a) general principles of instruction,(b) description of classwide peer tutoring procedures, and (c) review of effectiveness data concerning classroom process (ie, ecological and behavioral factors) and student achievement outcomes.

Delquadri, J., Greenwood, C. R., Whorton, D., Carta, J. J., & Hall, R. V. (1986). Classwide peer tutoring. Exceptional children, 52(6), 535-542.

Chicago

Developing Curriculum-Based Measurement Systems for Data-Based Special Education Problem Solving

This paper provides procedures for developing curriculum-based measurement systems in special education problem solving.

Deno, S. L., & Fuchs, L. S. (1987). Developing Curriculum-Based Measurement Systems for Data-Based Special Education Problem Solving. Focus on Exceptional Children, 19(8), 1-16.

A comparison of cognitive training and response cost procedures in modifying aggressive behavior of elementary school children

This study compares cognitive restructuring, response cost, or placebo control conditions to examine the impact on aggressive elementary school students.

Forman, S. G. (1980). A comparison of cognitive training and response cost procedures in modifying aggressive behavior of elementary school children. Behavior Therapy, 11(4), 594-600.

Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics

This meta-analysis examined the impact of lecturing as compared to active methods of instruction on learning and course performance. The effect sizes indicate that on average, student performance on examinations and concept inventories increased by 0.47 SDs under active learning (n = 158 studies), and that the odds ratio for failing was 1.95 under traditional lecturing (n = 67 studies).

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.

Effects of teacher attention on study behavior.

This study examines the effects of contingent teacher attention on study behavior.

Hall, R. V., Lund, D., & Jackson, D. (1968). EFFECTS OF TEACHER ATTENTION ON STUDY BEHAVIOR1. Journal of applied behavior analysis, 1(1), 1-12.

A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction.

This research synthesis examines instructional research in a functional manner to provide guidance for classroom practitioners.

Marzano, R. J. (1998). A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction.

 

Kids & Family Reading Report 5th Addition

The Bi-annual Kids & Family Reading Report on the attitudes of children and parents toward reading was released in early January 2016. The latest research touches on reading aloud to children of all ages, the impact of reading independently for fun at school and at home, the importance of frequent reading, and the books children want most to read.

Scholastic. (2015). Kids & Family Reading Report 5th Addition. Scholastic.

Kids & Family Reading Report 5th Addition

The Bi-annual Kids & Family Reading Report on the attitudes of children and parents toward reading was released in early January 2016. The latest research touches on reading aloud to children of all ages, the impact of reading independently for fun at school and at home, the importance of frequent reading, and the books children want most to read.

Scholastic. (2015). Kids & Family Reading Report 5th Addition. Scholastic.

Comparing and validating methods of reading instruction using behavioural and neural findings in an artificial orthography.

The results of this study confirm that early literacy instruction is most effective when focused on print-to-sound relationships (phonics) rather than on meaning. The benefits of print-to-sound training were found to be superior to print-to-meaning training for these reasons: (a) Reading aloud trained words learned phonetically was faster and more accurate, (b) generalization in reading aloud untrained words was faster, and (c) comprehension of written words was more accurate earlier in learning.

Taylor, J. S. H., Davis, M. H., & Rastle, K. (2017, April 20). Comparing and validating methods of reading instruction using behavioural and neural findings in an artificial orthography. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication.

Productive teaching

This literature review examines the impact of various instructional methods

Walberg H. J. (1999). Productive teaching. In H. C. Waxman & H. J. Walberg (Eds.) New directions for teaching, practice, and research (pp. 75-104). Berkeley, CA: McCutchen Publishing.

CLEAR TEACHING: With Direct Instruction, Siegfried Engelmann Discovered a Better Way of Teaching
This is a well-researched, highly readable introduction to Direct Instruction (DI)
Barbash, S. (2012). Clear teaching: With direct instruction, Siegfried Engelmann discovered a better way of teaching. Education Consumers Foundation.
Effects of active student response during error correction on the acquisition and maintenance of geography facts by elementary students with learning disabilities.
This study compares the effects of Active Student Response error correction and No Response (NR) error correction during.
Barbetta, P. M., & Heward, W. L. (1993). Effects of active student response during error correction on the acquisition and maintenance of geography facts by elementary students with learning disabilities. Journal of Behavioral Education, 3(3), 217-233.
Preteaching unknown key words with incremental rehearsal to improve reading fluency and comprehension with children identified as reading disabled
The study investigates the effect of teaching unknown key words as a preteaching strategy with 20 students identified as learning disabled in reading skills.
Burns, M. K., Dean, V. J., & Foley, S. (2004). Preteaching unknown key words with incremental rehearsal to improve reading fluency and comprehension with children identified as reading disabled. Journal of school psychology, 42(4), 303-314.
Preteaching versus concurrent teaching of the component skills of a multiplication algorithm
The study looks at the impact of preteaching as a practice to improve student performance.
Carnine, D. (1980). Preteaching versus concurrent teaching of the component skills of a multiplication algorithm. Journal for research in Mathematics Education, 375-379.
Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement
This book is the most recent edition of the Marzano, PIckering and Pollock research into evidence-based practices designed for use in classrooms to improve student performance.
Dean, C. B. (2012). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Ascd.
Can offline metacognition enhance mathematical problem solving?
This research looks at the effectiveness of a metacognitive intervention combined with algorithmic cognitive instruction in an elementary school setting.
Desoete, A., Roeyers, H., & De Clercq, A. (2003). Can offline metacognition enhance mathematical problem solving?. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(1), 188.
A comparison of textual and echoic prompts onthe acquisition of intraverbal behavior in a six-year-old boy with autism
This study compares textual and echoic prompts to determine which form of prompts are more effective for teaching intraverbal behavior to boy with autism.
Finkel, A. S., & Williams, R. L. (2002). A comparison of textual and echoic prompts on the acquisition of intraverbal behavior in a six-year-old boy with autism. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 18, 61.
Explicitly teaching for transfer: Effects on third-grade students’ mathematical problem solving.
This study assesses the effects of explicitly teaching for transfer by (a) broadening the categories by which students group problems requiring the same solution methods and (b) prompting students to search novel problems for these broad categories.
Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Prentice, K., Burch, M., Hamlett, C. L., Owen, R., ... & Jancek, D. (2003). Explicitly teaching for transfer: Effects on third-grade students' mathematical problem solving. Journal of educational psychology, 95(2), 293
Assisting students struggling with mathematics: Response to intervention (RtI) for elementary and middle schools.
This guide provides eight recommendations to help teachers, principals, and school administrators use Response to Intervention to identify students who need assistance in mathematics and address their needs.
Gersten, R., Beckmann, S., Clarke, B., Foegen, A., Marsh, L., Star, J. R., & Witzel, B. (2009). Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools. NCEE 2009-4060. What Works Clearinghouse.
The importance and decision making utility of a continuum of fluency based indicators of foundational reading skills for third-grade high stakes outcomes
This study examines fluency-based indicators of early literacy skills to predict reading outcomes, inform educational decisions, and change reading outcomes for students at risk.
Good III, R. H., Simmons, D. C., & Kame'enui, E. J. (2001). The importance and decision-making utility of a continuum of fluency-based indicators of foundational reading skills for third-grade high-stakes outcomes. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5(3), 257-288.
No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools
This study examines selected education schools teacher preparation-mathematics courses. Schools were scored on how well their courses presented the core components of the science of mathematics.
Greenberg, J., & Walsh, K. (2008). No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America's Education Schools. National Council on Teacher Quality.
Distributed versus massed practice in high school physics.
This paper is an analysis of the effects of distributed practice in teaching high school physics.
Grote, M. G. (1995). Distributed versus massed practice in high school physics. School Science and Mathematics, 95(2), 97-101.
Synthesis of research on the effects of mastery learning in elementary and secondary classrooms
This paper examines research on group-based mastery learning programs and the impact on student learning outcomes, including academic achievement, material retention, involvement in learning activities, and student attitudes.
Guskey, T. R., & Gates, S. L. (1986). Synthesis of Research on the Effects of Mastery Learning in Elementary and Secondary Classrooms. Educational Leadership, 43(8), 73-80.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
The National Center on Time and Learning

The National Center on Time & Learning has been dedicated to expanding and improving learning time in school to improve student achievement.

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