Tag Archives: Surpassing Shanghai

Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform

30 May

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. A series of papers about student motivation by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) follows the Council on Foreign Relations report by Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein. In Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein report about American Education, moi said:

The Council on Foreign Relations has issued the report, U.S. Education Reform and National Security. The chairs for the report are Joel I. Klein, News Corporation and Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University. Moi opined about the state of education in U.S. education failure: Running out of excuses https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/u-s-education-failure-running-out-of-excuses/ Education tends to be populated by idealists and dreamers who are true believers and who think of what is possible. Otherwise, why would one look at children in second grade and think one of those children could win the Nobel Prize or be president? Maybe, that is why education as a discipline is so prone to fads and the constant quest for the “Holy Grail” or the next, next magic bullet. There is no one answer, there is what works for a particular population of kids

Jay Mathews of the Washington Post is reporting in the article, U.S. school excuses challenged about a new book by Marc S. Tucker, “Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems.” In his book, Tucker examines some of the excuses which have been used to justify the failure of the American education system.

Citation:

U.S. Education Reform and National Security

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date March 2012

Price $15.00

108 pages
ISBN 978-0-87609-520-1
Task Force Report No. 68

Related:

Joy Resmovits of Huffington Post,Schools Report: Failing To Prepare Students Hurts National Security, Prosperity http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/schools-report-condoleezza-rice-joel-klein_n_1365144.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/condoleezza-rice-and-joel-klein-report-about-american-education/

CEP’s report is Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient.

Here is the press release:

Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient

CEP Report Summarizes Research on Understanding, Spurring Motivation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 22, 2012 – A series of papers by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) underscores the need for teachers, schools, parents and communities to pay more attention to the role of student motivation in school reform. While there is no single strategy that works to motivate all students, or even the same student in all contexts, the many different sources reviewed by CEP suggest various approaches that can help improve student motivation, the report finds.

For example, programs that tailor support to individual students who are at risk of losing motivation, that foster “college-going” cultures in middle and high schools, or that partner wit low-income parents to create more stimulating home learning environments can increase motivation, the report notes, but only if they incorporate factors that research has shown to be effective.

The CEP report, Student Motivation—An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together findings about student motivation from decades of major research conducted by scholars, organizations, and practitioners. The six accompanying background papers examine a range of themes and approaches, from the motivational power of video games and social media to the promise and pitfalls of paying students for good grades. Each paper covers one of these six broad topics:

What Is Motivation and Why Does It Matter?

Can Money and Other Rewards Motivate Students?

Can Goals Motivate Students?

What Roles Do Parents, Family Background, and Culture Play in Student Motivation?

What Can Schools Do To Better Motivate Students?

What Nontraditional Approaches to Learning Can Motivate Unenthusiastic Students?

Student motivation isn’t a fixed quality but can be influenced in positive or negative ways by students’ experiences and by important people in their lives,” said Alexandra Usher, CEP senior research assistant and lead author of the summary report and background papers. “How teachers teach, how schools are organized, and other key elements of school reform can be designed in ways that may either encourage or discourage motivation.” The summary report and accompanying papers highlight actions that teachers, school leaders,

parents, and communities can take to foster student motivation. The following are just a few of the many ideas included in the report:

Programs that reward academic accomplishments are most effective when they reward students for mastering certain skills or increasing their understanding rather than rewarding them for reaching a performance target or outperforming others.

Tests are more motivating when students have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through low-stakes tests, performance tasks, or frequent assessments that gradually increase in difficulty before they take a high-stakes test.

Professional development can help teachers encourage student motivation by sharing ideas for increasing student autonomy, emphasizing mastery over performance, and creating classroom environments where students can take risks without fear of failure

Parents can foster their children’s motivation by emphasizing effort over ability and praising children when they’ve mastered new skills or knowledge instead of praising their innate intelligence. Many aspects of motivation are not fully understood, the report and background papers caution, and most programs or studies that have shown some positive results have been small or geographically concentrated. “Because much about motivation is not known, this series of papers should be viewed as a springboard for discussion by policymakers, educators, and parents rather than a conclusive research review,” said Nancy Kober, CEP consultant and coauthor of the summary report. “This series can also give an important context to media stories about student achievement, school improvement, or other key education reform issues.”

The summary paper, six background reports, and an appendix table outlining the major theories of motivation are available for free at http://www.cep-dc.org. For further information, contact Ali Diallo at 301-656-0348 or ali@thehatchergroup.com.

####

Based in Washington, D.C. at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and

Human Development, and founded in January 1995 by Jack Jennings, the Center on Education Policy is

a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools. The Center

works to help Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to

improve the academic quality of public schools. The Center does not represent any special interests.

Download files:

Summary Paper – Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform (PDF format, 598 KB) *
Background paper 1 – What is motivation and why does it matter? (PDF format, 155 KB) *
Background paper 2 – Can money or other rewards motivate students? (PDF format, 188 KB) *
Background paper 3 – Can goals motivate students? (PDF format, 247 KB) *
Background paper 4 – What roles do parent involvement, family background, and culture play in studen (PDF format, 172 KB) *
Background paper 5 – What can schools do to motivate students? (PDF format, 237 KB) *
Background paper 6 – What nontraditional approaches can motivate unenthusiastic students? (PDF format, 244 KB) *
Appendix – Theories of motivation (PDF format, 69.4 KB) *
Press Release (PDF format, 41.3 KB) *

The report discusses the role of parents.

In Paul E. Peterson will piss you off, you might want to listen, moi said:

Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children, after all, you and your child should not be raising each other. Moi said this in Hard truths: The failure of the family:

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me firstphilosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of Katrina, the real genocide is self-inflicted. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/ It is interesting that the ruling elites do not want to touch the issue of unwed births with a ten thousand foot pole. After all, that would violate some one’s right to _____. Let moi fill in the blank, the right to be stupid, probably live in poverty, and not be able to give your child the advantages that a more prepared parent can give a child because to tell you to your face that you are an idiot for not using birth control is not P.C.

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/paul-e-peterson-will-piss-you-off-you-might-want-to-listen/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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U.S. education failure: Running out of excuses

13 Dec

Education tends to be populated by idealists and dreamers who are true believers and who think of what is possible. Otherwise, why would one look at children in second grade and think one of those children could win the Nobel Prize or be president? Maybe, that is why education as a discipline is so prone to fads and the constant quest for the “Holy Grail” or the next, next magic bullet. There is no one answer, there is what works for a particular population of kids

Jay Mathews of the Washington Post is reporting in the article, U.S. school excuses challenged about a new book by Marc S. Tucker, “Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems.” In his book, Tucker examines some of the excuses which have been used to justify the failure of the American education system.

Here are some common excuses for poor U.S. performance and why Tucker thinks they are wrong. I also have included commentary from Brookings Institution scholar Tom Loveless, an expert on PISA.

  1. Our scores are lower because so many of our children are from immigrant families speaking different languages. Tucker says “the reading performance of children without an immigrant background in the United States is only marginally better than the performance of all students. It turns out that Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong, all with percentages of immigrant students equal to or greater than the United States, all out-perform the United States in reading.” Loveless says Tucker needs to prove that immigrants in those countries are as poor and culturally deprived as U.S. immigrants.
  2. Our suburban kids do fine, but our national average PISA results are dragged down by urban schools that serve low-income students. In fact, Tucker says, the U.S. suburban average is only slightly above the average for all developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors PISA.
  3. If top-performing countries had to educate as many disadvantaged students as we do, they would not perform as well. PISA has results for what it calls “resilient” students, those who are in the bottom quarter of an index of economic, social and cultural status but who score in the top quarter of the PISA achievement measures. The higher portion of students like that in a country, the theory goes, the better its schools are doing in educating the students who are most difficult to teach. The percentage of resilient students in the United States is below the PISA average. Twenty-seven countries, including Mexico, are ahead of us. Loveless wonders if this says anything besides “countries that score higher than us score higher than us.”
  4. If we spent more on education, we would have better results. In fact, Tucker could find only one OECD country, Luxembourg, that spends more per pupil than we do, even though we score only average in reading and below average in math and science. The key factor, he says, is what we spend the money on. If we measure teacher compensation by how much teachers are paid compared to other professions requiring the same years of education, only three OECD countries pay their teachers less than we do.
  5. If we emphasize reducing class sizes, our students will do better. The PISA data shows otherwise. Countries that give higher priority to raising teacher salaries than reducing class sizes have better achievement rates than countries like ours that do the opposite. Loveless says he is sympathetic to this argument and the previous one, but would like to see evidence of causality.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/us-school-excuses-challenged/2011/12/10/gIQANIqmmO_blog.html

There are certain elements that successful schools share.

The Wisconsin Department of Education has a good guide about successful schools. Chapter One, Characteristics of Successful Schools , lists key elements:

Chapter 1 describes the seven characteristics that comprise a successful school. Briefly, they are:

  • Vision: having a common understanding of goals, principles and expectations for everyone in the learning-community
  • Leadership: having a group of individuals dedicated to helping the learning-community reach its vision
  • High Academic Standards: describing what students need to know and be able to do
  • Standards of the Heart: helping all within the learning community become caring, contributing, productive, and responsible citizens
  • Family School and Community Partnerships: “making room at the table” for a child’s first and most influential teachers
  • Professional Development: providing consistent, meaningful opportunities for adults in the school setting to engage in continuous learning
  • Evidence of Success: collecting and analyzing data about students, programs, and staff

Like, unhappy families, failing schools are probably failing in their own way.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first line
Russian mystic & novelist (1828 – 1910)

It seems everything old becomes new once again, although a relentless focus on the basics never went out of style.

Good Schools really are relentless about the basics.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©