NEPC Resources on Curriculum and Teaching
Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Faith Boninger and Alex Molnar About Personalized Learning and Digital Privatization
Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Ken Zeichner on Independent Teacher Prep Programs
Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Alyssa Hadley Dunn on Viral Teacher Resignation Letters
Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking is a 10-part brief that takes up important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research. Each section focuses on a different issue, and its recommendations for policymakers are based on the latest scholarship.
There is a continuing need to ensure that schools are safe for all students. This brief examines the particular challenges faced by those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT).
This brief discusses how three recent popular educational reform policies move teaching towards or away from professionalization. These reforms are (1) policies that evaluate teachers based on students’ annual standardized test score gains, and specifically, those based on value-added assessment; (2) fast-track teacher preparation and licensure; and (3) scripted, narrowed curricula. These particular policy reforms are considered because of their contemporary prominence and the fact that they directly influence the way teaching is perceived.
Teach For America (TFA) aims to address teacher shortages by sending graduates from elite colleges, most of whom do not have a background in education, to teach in low-income rural and urban schools for a two-year commitment. The impact of these graduates is hotly debated by those who, on the one hand, see this as a way to improve the supply of teachers by enticing some of America‘s top students into teaching and those who, on the other hand, see the program as a harmful dalliance into the lives of low-income students who most need highly trained and highly skilled teachers.
In a decade, virtual education in its contemporary form of asynchronous, computer-mediated interaction between a teacher and students over the Internet has grown from a novelty to an established mode of education that may provide all or part of formal schooling for nearly one in every 50 students in the US. In a non-random 2007 survey of school districts, as many as three out of every four public K-12 school districts responding reported offering full or partial online courses.
Blanchett, W. J., Klingner, J. K., & Harry, B. (2009). The intersection of race, culture, language, and disability: Implications for urban education. Urban Education, 44, 389-409. Available online at http://uex.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/44/4/389 To date, few researchers have sought to examine the effect of issues of race, culture, language, and disability, let alone to look specifically at the intersection of these issues, as it relates to special education identification, special education service delivery, and students of color’s access to an equitable education.
Fifteen educational scholars have produced a collection of letters to President-elect Obama. Each letter briefly sets forth an idea or proposal to help create a more productive and equitable educational system. The letters cover the gamut of key policy issues facing the next administration, including reading instruction, No Child Left Behind, the expansion of preschool availability, charter schools, special education, the effects of poverty, and the teaching of English learners.
Multiple Pathways: 21st Century High Schools that Prepare All Students for College, Career and Civic Participation
Many states are currently developing high school reforms labeled “Multiple Pathways,” built on the fundamental insight that career and technical education –- which used to be called “vocational education” –- can be academically rigorous. Multiple Pathways policies also allow students to gravitate to schooling themes that are personally relevant, and they hold the potential to substantially improve secondary schooling.
The certification of teachers through programs other than those based in colleges and universities, rare before 1980, has become a prominent part of the teaching profession. Alternatively certified teachers are appearing in increasing numbers in private and charter schools and in poor urban neighborhoods where school districts have difficulty finding regularly certified teachers.
The academic success of any school depends on the instruction provided by high quality teachers. Yet the impact of school choice on teachers and teaching has received less attention than other components of school operations. This brief addresses that lack by reviewing teacher quality in choice schools and differences in work environments across school types. It also includes the scant information available about what impact school choice may have upon the teacher labor market.
The concept of innovation has been closely tied to the push for school choice, serving as a key rationale for such choice plans as charter schools, vouchers and other alternatives to neighborhood-based school assignment. While innovation continually occurs to varying degrees throughout American education, some versions of school choice are specifically designed to accelerate the pace of innovation, not only in how education is organized, but more importantly in teaching and learning, where substantive innovation is thought to have the greatest and most direct impact for students.
Harry, B., Arnaiz, P., Klingner, J., & Sturges, K. (2008). Schooling and the construction of identity among minority students in Spain and the United States. Journal of Special Education, 42, 15-25.
This policy brief examines the recent wave of commission reports that have attacked the American high school and called for its "reinvention." Two conceptions of rigor are dominant: test-based rigor, requiring higher scores on conventional tests; and course-based rigor, requiring more demanding courses. However, these conventional academic conceptions neglect several other conceptions of rigor: as depth rather than breadth; as more sophisticated levels of understanding including "higher-order skills"; and as the ability to apply learning in unfamiliar settings.
Review of Whole Language High Jinks: How to Tell When 'Scientifically-Based Reading Instruction' Isn't
Harry, B., & Klingner, J. K. (2007). Discarding the deficit model. Educational Leadership, 64(5), 16-21. Available online at http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb07/vol64/num05/Discarding-the-Deficit-Model.aspx
Publisher New York: Greenwood Publishing
Page Numbers 36-41
Summary American high schools have long separated students, often using tests, and then provided them with different educational experiences and opportunities. This entry examines these interrelated practices of assessment and curricular differentiation.
The Special Education Referral and Decision-Making Process for English Language Learners: Child Study Team Meetings and Staffing
Klingner, J. K., & Harry, B. (2006). The special education referral and decision-making process for English Language Learners: Child study team meetings and staffings. Teachers College Record 108, 2247-2281.