Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 8

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Myth: Ability grouping is effective.

Some believe grouping students by ability allows teachers to customize learning to student’s learning pace, but the opposite is true — it has little impact on achievement. The greatest negative effect is that students from minorities are more likely to be in the lower groups and such equity issues should raise major concerns.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 7

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Myth: Eliminating social promotion gives students more time to learn foundation skills.

Repeating a grade has a negative effect on student achievement (at every age) and is correlated with negative social and emotional achievement, behavior and self-concept.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 6

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Myth: Teachers learn by watching videos of their work.

Reviewing videos can help teachers identify areas  of improvement in their instruction. Yet this is true only when students reaction to the instruction are included, which allows the teacher to see what is understood and what needs more clarification.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 5

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Myth: Project-based learning and inquiry is the route to better student achievement

While project-based learning and inquiry can be effective instructional techniques, they reach their highest potential only after specific content has been mastered. These techniques require students to have sufficient understanding of concepts. Using the technique generally across subjects is not as effective as problem-solving with specific content to deepen learning in one subject.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 4

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Myth: Teachers need deep content knowledge to be effective.

Some reform initiatives primarily focus on ensuring teachers have deeper content knowledge, particularly in secondary subjects. Yet most teaching today occurs at the surface level, so in-depth subject knowledge in not as influential as many believe.

It is only when there is right mix of surface and deep learning does content knowledge matter. Expert teachers use their content knowledge to make meaningful connections between concepts by using students’ prior knowledge and adapting lessons to meet students’ needs.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 3

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Myth: Teachers need to soften criticism with praise

While giving students positive reinforcement is important, coupling critical feedback with praise negates the impact the feedback has on improving student learning. Teachers should work to create a positive, nurturing environment so that students trust their teachers and set high expectations.

However, critical feedback should be delivered with a different tone so students understand the importance of improving their work.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dispelling Myths about Improving Student Achievement # 2

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Myth: Homework Matters:

Only for older students — those in middle or high school who are reinforcing what happens in the classroom — does homework substantially influence student achievement.  To be effective, homework should be four things; brief, linked to the in-class lesson, monitored by the teacher, and exclusive of new learnings that disadvantages those who most need a teacher present.

From District Administration Magazine by John Hattie, Educational Researcher at the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

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