New Series Scrutinizes Instructional Practices with the Research Behind Them
- By Dian Schaffhauser
new series of "bite-sized" monthly articles from the
is examining learning science of various instructional practices. The
Learning Accelerator is a nonprofit that promotes professional
development for teachers and site leaders to help them learn how to
use personalized learning to improve education.
of "IgnitED Research," as the series is named, specifically
looked at the power of grouping students who are at different levels
of academic skill. The research has shown that working in small
groups is effective and, generally, the smaller the group, the
better. Yet, wrote Learning Accelerator researcher Saro Mohammed,
research has also shown that grouping by ability isn't always "the
best or equitable approach." While "same-ability"
groups might be easier to put in place and could benefit the
higher-achieving students, "mixed-ability" groups, she
noted, "benefit all students, especially lower-achieving ones."
guidance: First, mix it up. " Students should have opportunities
to learn in a variety of settings, including mixed-ability groups,"
Mohammed noted. Second, she recommended, apply technology. While the
teacher can use it for tracking groups and roles from one project to
another and communicating with students about their group
participation, students can use it to take on different roles
(note-taker, timer, researcher).
articles in the series have examined the research behind effective
and the "myth of learning
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.