Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Spy: What Third Grade is Really Like

The first results out from an NIH Study of Third Grade Classroom Instruction:

These studies are important, but they emphasize the gap between theoretical and practical implementation of educational programs. The samplings mirror national averages in terms of teacher sampling 99.5% had bachelor's degrees or higher (43% had some graduate courses or a master's degree).

Researchers pointed out that "Science and social studies activities seldom occurred, thought the coding system allowed that if an activity had literacy and social studies components, for example, then both literacy and social studies could be coded." Approximately 1 hour out of a 6 hour day was spent in classroom transition or management activities like collecting lunch money or lining up. Over-all richness of instructional methods was 2.11 on a scale of 1 to 5.50 (with 5.50 the highest). Students appeared to be engaged in the instruction 2/3 or the time, unproductive 1/3 of the time, and highly engaged, rarely.

Uh-oh. We have a long way to go. These kids are competing in a Flat World.

NICHD ECCRN: What Really Goes On in U.S. Third Grade Classrooms
ENL Blog: Education for a Flat World
ENL Blog: Designing Schools for the Present Age
Creating Creative Children: Education for a Flat World pdf
Problem Solving in the Elementary Curriculum / A Curriculum Unit
Parent Involvement in Elementary Problem Solving

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1 comment:

  1. rws1st1:06 AM

    "Students appeared to be engaged in the instruction 2/3 or the time"

    I like how that is worded. How many of us practiced fake attention? Just enough to not get called on when you didn't want to, but not so much that you couldnt carry on a good day dream!