Too many school improvement initiatives dive immediately into reforms of learning approaches or processes. This is skipping steps. Defining your school’s Identity and a Vision for Student Readiness must come before big school change initiatives. These two anchors: Form a framework for smart decisions on structures, policies, and approaches to learning. Help close the opportunity…
As we partner with educators to develop a common understanding around a holistic definition of student readiness, many school communities are utilizing explicit and common language to operationalize what readiness means to their community. Many schools already have a holistic definition that their staff, students, and families have bought into to or sometimes have even helped to design.
This study argues that varied perspectives should be a critical component in the methodological and analytical choices of education research, especially when the sought after outcome is deeper understanding of the impact, both positive and negative, of an education program or policy. In this study, rather than using one researcher to confirm the reliability of the other, the study explores the outcome of drawing on the positional reflexivity of two researchers, each with a distinct perspective, as a potential strength to cogenerate themes and theory in the evaluation of complex policy or programs.
ArtCore: Paving the Way for a New Education Paradigm: An Immersive Arts-Integration Program for Middle Schools
ArtCore is an evolving model for arts-based school enhancement that unites community based teaching artists with middle school educators to generate creative, challenging and sustainable learning opportunities for historically marginalized students. Teaching artists work side by side with one grade level of educators per year during three years, modeling arts integration approaches across the school. This collaboration cultivates skilled cohorts of students and renews a strong school culture that values the unique creativity of every student and educator. By engaging every member of the school community as a learner, ArtCore goes to the heart of integrative, imaginative and culturally responsive learning.
Evaluation of the Quality Elementary Science Teaching (QuEST) Discovery Research K–12 Grant: Annual Report for Year 4
The overarching goals of this four-year National Science Foundation–funded Discovery Research K–12 project include the following: 1) Implement a high-quality situated PD model for K–6 teachers in science; 2) conduct a comprehensive and rigorous program of research to study the impacts of this model on teacher and student learning; and 3) disseminate project outcomes to a variety of stakeholders to produce broader impacts.
Creative Ideation Meets Relational Support: Measuring Links Between these Factors in Early Adolescence
This study examines measurement of creative ideational behaviors alongside factors of student engagement that may play a role in the development of students’ creative potential during early adolescence in school. Two studies used exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, crossvalidation, and invariance testing of 2 extant measures with multiple samples of 6th grade students 10 in the United States. Key findings show that reduced versions of the Runco Ideational Behavior Scale for Students (RIBS-C) and the student engagement instrument (SEI) demonstrated a close fit to the data and sufficient evidence of reliability and validity. In addition, flexibility in creative ideation showed consistently high correlations with relational support with peers and teachers and educational aspiration and relevance. Results provide greater precision for futuremeasurement and support 15 for developmental and sociocultural theories of creativity in the learning environment. This study also reinforces the cognitive perspective that distinguishes properties of fluency and flexibility.
The Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) conducted an implementation study for a credit equivalency pilot project during the 2016–17 school year. Teacher teams from five Oregon high schools participated in the project, developing the frameworks for and providing Career Technical Education (CTE) classes within their schools that offer students the opportunity to earn content area credit. The purpose of the study was to begin to identify the policies and practices that need to exist to ensure integrity when enacting a course equivalency process, leading to positive college and career readiness outcomes for students.
Interpersonal and intrapersonal skill assessment alternatives: Self-reports, situational judgment tests, and discrete choice experiments
Responding to a groundswell of researcher and practitioner interest in developing students’ interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, we evaluated three measurement approaches for creativity and global citizenship. We designed a 10-criteria evaluative framework from seminal and cutting-edge research to compare extant self-reports and situational judgment tests (SJTs) from each construct and to design two discrete choice experiments (DCEs). Our evaluation detailed opportunities, challenges, and tradeoffs presented by each approach’s design considerations, possibilities for bias, and validity-related issues. We found that researchers rely heavily upon self-report instruments to measure constructs, such as creative thinking and global citizenship. We found evidence that the self-report instruments evaluated were susceptible to some biases more than others. We found that SJTs and DCEs may mitigate some concerns of bias and validity present in self-report when measuring interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. We make recommendations for future development of these formats.
Teaching and Learning in Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs: Performance Tasks in the Postsecondary Transition
Teaching and Learning in Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs: Performance Tasks in the Postsecondary Transition is the second of two reports on entry-level college course work, produced through research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Over the last four years, EPIC researchers analyzed a sample for entry-level course syllabi, assessments and assignments to understand the nature of entry-level course expectations, including course content, requirements, and challenge level.
Understanding Entry-Level Courses in American Institutions of Higher Education outlines a study conducted by EPIC that empirically identifies the characteristics of work at the college- and career-readiness level in English/language arts, science, and social sciences courses.