Effective Practice

Over the years researchers have made powerful discoveries about the most effective ways to promote learning. The findings are often contrary to the "folk mythology" that many educators have been immersed in.

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Effective Practice

Why Educators Resist Effective Practices (Carnine, D 2000): Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

Douglas Carnine exposes the gulf between research and practice, the divisions within the research community, and the reasons why sound educational evidence is ignored by so-called “experts”. He argues for a more robust, scientific and professional approach to implementing well-established findings, suggesting that students would be the winners if education were to become “more like medicine”. 

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Clear Teaching (Shepard Barbash 2012): Education Consumers Foundation

Shepard Barbash spent ten years researching, interviewing and writing to produce this lucid account of why Direct Instruction deserves much greater acceptance by the educational establishment. Accompanied by summaries of research and addressing misrepresentations of DI, Clear Teaching raises serious questions about educational orthodoxy.

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Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science – What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able To Do (Louisa Moats 1999): American Federation of Teachers

A clearly structured and thorough account of what teachers need to know about language, reading development and teaching methods in order to ensure that all of their students learn to read well. The title encapsulates the central idea, that the body of knowledge required to teach reading is “extensive, hidden and complex.”

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Why Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science (Louisa Moats 2011): address to the Indiana Reading Forum, presented by American College of Education

This presentation to a teachers’ conference provides a thorough explanation of what teachers of reading ought to know. Excellent professional development for educators who are serious about growing in their craft.

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Dianne Murphy’s literacy revolution in London classrooms. (Middleton C 2011) The Telegraph 

A journalist’s impression of Thinking Reading following a visit to Greig City Academy in 2011.

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Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Practice Brief (2008) Boardman A G, Roberts, G, Vaughn S, Wexler J, Murray C S and Kosanovich M: Center on Instruction

This comprehensive practice brief summarises research on helping struggling adolescent readers, and provides practical suggestions for ways to integrate that research into teaching. Secondary teachers will gain a great deal from this clear, well-organised work.

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A Closer Look at the Five Essential Components of Effective Reading Instruction: A Review of Scientifically Based Reading Research for Teachers (2004) Learning Point Associates

How can we teach all children to read accurately, rapidly, and with comprehension by the end of third grade? The National Reading Panel Report provides an answer to this question. The National Reading Panel Report (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD], 2000) summarized several decades of scientific research that clearly shows effective reading instruction addresses five critical areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension.

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The Prevention of Reading Difficulties (Torgeson J K 2002) Journal of School Psychology Vol 40: 1

Joseph Torgeson summarises two decades of research on what is required to ensure effective early reading instruction for all children. He argues for improved teacher skills, improved practice for identifying children at risk of reading failure, and improved resources for teaching all of these children systematically, explicitly and successfully.

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Teaching Children to Read (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 2009)

This lucid summary of the state of literacy education in 2009 highlights issues still not yet resolved: the lack of a systematic, good-quality evidence base for interventions, especially at secondary school, and the need to establish much more thorough professional development on reading development, including how to intervene successfully with struggling readers. Such professional development should be made available to English teachers, teachers of other subjects, and LSAs.

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Choosing Effective Programs for Low-Progress Readers (Wheldall K, Beaman R and Madelaine A Macquarie University Special Education Centre 2009) MUSEC Briefings: Issue 21

Outlines the key principles on which teachers should plan and select reading interventions to support low-progress readers.

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The Savvy Teacher’s Guide: Reading Interventions That Work (Wright, J 2001) jimwrightonline website

A comprehensive collection of evidence-based practices that have been demonstrated to have an impact on student achievement. Practical and concise.

 
 
Beyond the Phonics vs. Whole Language Debate: What The Research Says We Should Really Be Teaching in Reading (Kame’enui E J, Simmons D C, Coyne M D, Harn B and McDonagh S Undated)

This summary of research on what is required for effective teaching of reading highlights the key findings of the last quarter of a century. It forms a very helpful overview to teachers or training teachers who are beginning to explore the issues. 

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Principles of Instruction: Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers  Should Know  (Rosenshine, B 2010): International Academy of Education. Reprinted (Spring 2012): American Educator

‘This article presents 10 research-based principles of instruction, along with suggestions for classroom practice. These principles come from three sources: (a) research in cognitive science, (b) research on master teachers, and (c) research on cognitive supports.

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Research for Teachers: #14 Promoting Curriculum Access in Children and Youth with Reading Disabilities (Martinussen, R: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, undated): Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario

This short outline provides three sets of strategies which help teachers to support the needs of students who have difficulties with reading and written language: universal design for learning, intervention and accommodation.

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MUSEC Briefing - Teacher Aides (Stephenson, J Macquarie University Special Education Centre 2006) MUSEC Briefings: Issue 8

This briefing summarises key issues around the use of teacher aides (LSAs) in classrooms and concludes that without appropriate training, for both teachers and support staff, the practice may be of limited or even negative value.

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Designing Instructional Strategies: The Prevention of Academic Learning Problems (Kame’enui, E & Simmons, D 1990): Pearson

The authors systematically detail how different knowledge domains require different instructional modes, sequences and assessments. The technical proficiency required to implement such approaches poses questions for the teaching profession around curriculum, teacher preparation and what constitutes effective practice. (This links to Amazon, not an article).

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The Instructional Hierarchy: Linking Stages of Learning to Effective Instructional Techniques (Intervention Central undated)
This very brief overview of stages of learning and how they can be linked to different performance goals provides a helpful summary of a critical concept that all teachers need to understand.

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Instructional Hierarchy: Matching Interventions to Student Learning Stage (Haring et al 1978)
A table showing how to match instruction to stages of learning. Essential for all teachers.

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Fluency in Education (Kubina, R M and Morrison R S 2000). Behavior and Social Issues 10, 83 – 99)

A comprehensive discussion of why fluency in education matters and how it can be used in the classroom. 

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Morningside Academy: A Learning Guarantee. Snyder, G: PM eZine

This article examines the results of combining effective teaching technologies such as Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching. The results are impressive and replicated across settings. 

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Evidence-Based Practice in the Classroom (Hempenstall, K 2012)

Kerry Hempenstall contrasts two approaches to education, and notes that while they share common goals, different beliefs about the role of teaching and the resultant methods create large differences - not only in practice, but in outcomes for students.

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