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Education Research: 5 Important Studies Every Teacher Should be Talking About
posted by: Cindy Omlin | July 12, 2013, 09:06 PM   

In the hustle and bustle of the everyday classroom, it's easy to forget that every month new research is being published about education. This research often seems removed from how we behave in the classroom, but it doesn't need to be. Often this research can have a very real impact in our classrooms and during the school day. With that being said, we've compiled some of the latest studies and polls that all classroom teachers should be talking about: 

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review 2013:
This new study was just published in June and it says what many teachers have been aware of for decades – overall teacher colleges don't do a good job of preparing new teachers for the reality of the classroom. While it may be too late to influence your career, with any hope it will spur colleges to reevaluate their programs, focus on getting students in the classroom more, and reinvigorate the process of teacher prep. AAE has also signed on as an endorser.

The United States Has the Highest Graduation Rate Since 1973: You hear a lot about what education is doing wrong, and not much about when it's doing something right. Here is something that all educators can take pride in – nearly 75% of high school students are graduating. Making that even more impressive is the fact that the highest graduation rate the country has ever seen has been 77.1%, which we are only a few percentage points away from meeting.

Dropping Out is a Process:
Part of the reason that graduation rates are increasing is because we understand the reasons why students drop out better. Unfortunately, the reasons are muddy and complex and unfold over a period of time, making dropping out a process not an event. Recently the University of California published a short summary of the research over the past several years providing important information to teachers who need to work with at-risk students from their first day of school onwards.

Personalized Algebra: There have actually been several studies that have shown that when students get an algebra problem that is tailored to their interest, they do better on the problem. Not a math teacher? Well, it's likely that this principal can be applied to other studies as well. Especially since it reinforces the widely held belief that students learn better when they feel the topic applies to them.

Effective Responsive Teaching: Students need more than just drilling math problems to succeed at school, and a new study proves it. A team of researchers conducted a three year study where they compared schools that employed Responsive Classroom teaching to schools that did not. Schools that employed the method, which teaches students social and emotional skills, did better in many areas, including test scores. The results help prove that character education matters and should be a part of every classroom, and also that good teaching will result in greater student gains, even when not focused explicitly on tests.


Originally posted by Melissa at AAE.

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