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Research You Shouldn't Miss: From Field Trips to Adult Skills
posted by: Garry | October 09, 2013, 09:44 PM   

US adults score lower in math, literacy, and problem solving skills than many other industrialized nations
– This is the newest study and is making the biggest splash in the news at the moment.  It appears that our skills are quite low as adults, pointing to the need to emphasize educational achievement.

We don’t value our teachers as much as other countries do
– The Varkey GEMS Foundation looked at how much different countries valued their teachers, and the US came in around the middle of the pack.  Interestingly, there was no clear correlation between respect for teachers and teacher pay.

Math teachers from TFA boost secondary math learning
* – This federally funded study looked at the impact that TFA fellows had on math and literacy achievements.  While they found little difference in literacy skills, in the area of secondary math education they out performed experienced teachers.

Laptops hinder classroom learning for both users and nearby peers
– This study found that students who multitask on a laptop scored lower on a test of their knowledge about the subject.  The study doesn’t recommend banning laptops, but rather rethinking their use.

School choice may reduce segregation in Louisiana schools
– Published inEducation Next, this study looked at the effect that Louisiana’s voucher policy had on school segregation and found that vouchers led to increased integration.

Field trips can improve thinking skills
– In another study published in Education Next, Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas teamed up to look at the effects of visiting an art museum.  They found that students both retained the information they learned, but also improved critical thinking skills, historical empathy, and tolerance levels.

Students in charter schools are making greater educational gains than their public school peers
– This Stanford study compared charter school students to their peers in traditional public schools and found that charter schools had a greater impact on student learning.

There are right ways and wrong ways to study
– Using cognitive science, this study tested the outcomes of students who studied using various methods.  To no huge surprise, they found rereading the text to be among the least effective and distributing study sessions to be among the most effective.  Surprisingly, they also found mnemonics and imagery to be among the least effective.

Reading fiction increases emotional intelligence
– Sure to thrill reading teachers and librarians everywhere, this study confirms that the reading of fiction books helps people develop empathy and understand complex social relationships.

*Due to the current government shut down the report is currently inaccessible, but I have linked to an Education Week article discussing the findings.


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