Advancing Student Achievement
Advancing Student Achievement
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For the last half century, higher spending and many modern reforms have failed to raise the achievement of students in the United States to the levels of other economically advanced countries. A possible explanation, says Herbert Walberg, is that much current education theory is ill informed about scientific psychology, often drawing on fads and pop psychology, and contradicting well-evidenced behavioral insights. In Advancing Student Learning, Walberg draws on both psychological and economic research to describe how students actually learn and how family, classroom, and school practices can help them learn more effectively.
The author debunks many of the myths of modern education and presents research showing that young learners thrive when teachers have clear goals, plan effective activities to attain them, and measure student progress. He discusses the powerful influence of parents on what students learn within and outside school and how choice programs give parents a stronger role in their children's education. And he presents evidence to reveal why teachers' classroom practices-not their credentials or experience-are what makes a true difference in student learning.
|Author:||Herbert J. Walberg|
|Publisher:||Hoover Institution Press|
|Publication Date:||April 01, 2010|
|Product Length:||5.91 inches|
|Product Width:||0.39 inches|
|Product Height:||8.9 inches|
|Product Weight:||0.45 pounds|
|Package Length:||8.7 inches|
|Package Width:||6.0 inches|
|Package Height:||0.6 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.4 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 2 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 2 customer reviews )
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Short, and To the Point! May 13, 2010
By Loyd E. Eskildson
The purpose of this book is to describe how students learn, and to explain how family and school practices can help them learn more. Author Walberg, currently a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution and emeritus professor of education and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, contends that relying on rising expenditures has led nowhere - it is time to instead to draw upon careful research instead.
Professor Walberg begins with the too-often forgotten sad state of U.S. pupil achievement vs. other nations - U.S. high-school students recently ranked 25th out of thirty countries in science, the hoped-for source of new high-paying jobs in high technology areas to replace those lost to off-shoring. This is not new news - similar findings were reported 30+ years ago. However, then the findings were 'excused' on the grounds that Americans educated a much higher proportion of their teenagers. No longer - between just 1995 and 2005 our high-school completion rates fell from 2nd to 21st among OECD nations, even though U.S. spending/pupil is among the world's highest.
Students themselves recognize that substantial improvement is possible, and want to do so. A 1997 survey of teens found 75% said schools should promote only students who master the material, almost two-thirds reported they could do much better if they tried, and nearly 80% said students would learn more if schools made certain they were on time and did their homework. Other surveys find that educators' standards, especially those in colleges of education, are lax compared to those of the public. One obvious problem - time on task. High achieving schools spend about 75% of the time on instruction, while low-achieving schools average only 51%. The difference is taken up by tardiness, disruptions, and off-task activities.
Walberg, however, does not believe that schools are the primary determinant of pupil achievement. "In the first eighteen years of life, children spend only about 8 percent of their time in school. Therefore, psychological conditions in the 92% of the time for which parents are chiefly responsible greatly influence what students learn." Walberg suggests specific child-rearing practices to help build a positive approach to learning.
Psychologist Walberg also emphasizes the importance of pupil motivation, citing research showing that monetary incentives improved successful Advanced Placement course completion, as well as praise based on effort - from both parents and teachers.
Unfortunately, traditional recipes for improving schools, such as paying teachers according to years of experience and number of advanced courses, and reducing class size have repeatedly been found ineffectual in improving pupil outcomes. This finding holds whether evaluated through research findings or assessing historical trends. Classroom practices, not teacher credentials or experience, are what count. Walberg also has no sympathy for those claiming teachers are underpaid, pointing out that they work only about 61% the hours/year of other workers.
Summarizing, Walberg believes pupil achievement is best accomplished through:
Clear, measurable classroom goals
Frequent, close monitoring of results.
Appropriate reinforcement and positive correction.
Periodic information reports for parents, citizens, and school boards.
Utilization of efficient means for achieving the goals.
Bottom-Line: "Advancing Student Achievement" is important reading for those interested in improving American education.
Interesting Read Apr 17, 2012
A very interesting read from the outside looking into the classroom. I used this book on my research project for my "white paper." The book is very easy to read, and it will pull you into the state of public education. I had fun skipping around the chapters a bit. Very simple and well written.
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