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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2017226 Growth mindset, performance avoidance, and academic behaviors in Clark County School District
Previous research strongly suggests that beliefs regarding the nature of ability and the payoff to effort (academic mindsets) and the related actions (academic behaviors) play an important role in supporting student success. Not much is known about the distribution of these beliefs among teachers and students in different academic contexts. This study examined the distribution of reported academic mindsets and behaviors in Nevada’s Clark County School District. The analysis revealed that most students reported beliefs that are largely consistent with a growth mindset. However, reported beliefs and behaviors differed significantly depending on students' English learner status, race/ethnicity, grade level and prior achievement. For example, Black and Hispanic students reported lower levels of growth mindset than White students. English learner students reported significantly lower levels of growth mindset and higher levels of performance avoidance than their non-English learner counter parts. Lower achieving students reported significantly lower levels of growth mindset and significantly higher levels of performance avoidance than their higher achieving peers. Teachers reported greater beliefs in growth mindset than students, and their beliefs regarding growth mindset did not, for the most part, vary significantly depending on the characteristics of the students attending their schools.
4/5/2017
REL 2017263 Analyzing student-level disciplinary data: A guide for districts
The purpose of this report is to help guide districts in analyzing their own student-level disciplinary data to answer important questions about the use of disciplinary actions. This report, developed in collaboration with the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands Urban School Improvement Alliance, provides information to district personnel about how to analyze their student-level data and answer questions about the use of disciplinary actions, such as whether these actions are disproportionately applied to some student subgroups, and whether there are differences in student academic outcomes across the types of disciplinary actions that students receive. This report identifies several considerations that should be accounted for prior to conducting any analysis of student-level disciplinary data. These include defining all data elements to be used in the analysis, establishing rules for transparency (including handling missing data), and defining the unit-of-analysis. The report also covers examples of descriptive analyses that can be conducted by districts to answer questions about their use of the disciplinary actions. SPSS syntax is provided to assist districts in conducting all of the analyses described in the report. The report will help guide districts to design and carry out their own analyses, or to engage in conversations with external researchers who are studying disciplinary data in their districts.
3/29/2017
REL 2017233 Stated Briefly: Postsecondary education expectations and attainment of rural and nonrural students
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2017-257).This study examined rural–nonrural differences in postsecondary educational expectations and the attainment of expectations for grade 10 students attending rural and nonrural high schools in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest region and how these differences compare with rural–nonrural differences in the rest of the nation. For grade 10 students who indicated that they did not anticipate attaining more than a high school education, the study also examined rural and nonrural students' reasons for not expecting to continue their education past the secondary level. Analyses drew on data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using descriptive statistics, chi-squared tests of association, and multinomial regression models with students nested in schools. The baseline model included only school locale, an indicator for region, and their interaction as predictors; subsequent models added student predictors, family characteristics, teacher expectations, and school contextual variables. Analyses reveal that rural students in the Midwest had lower educational expectations than their nonrural peers, yet similar levels of educational attainment after taking into account student, family, teacher, and school characteristics. For two-thirds of rural and nonrural students, educational attainment fell short of expectations. Importantly, participation in rigorous coursework, parent aspirations, and teacher expectations were more predictive of educational expectations and attainment than whether students grew up in rural areas in grade 10 in 2002. For grade 10 students who did not expect to go to college, both rural and nonrural students perceived financial barriers as the primary reason. Policymakers and other stakeholders in Midwestern states and the rest of the nation can use the results of this study to inform efforts to improve the educational attainment of rural students.
3/8/2017
REL 2017257 Postsecondary education expectations and attainment of rural and nonrural students
This study examined rural–nonrural differences in postsecondary educational expectations and the attainment of expectations for grade 10 students attending rural and nonrural high schools in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest region and how these differences compare with rural–nonrural differences in the rest of the nation. For grade 10 students who indicated that they did not anticipate attaining more than a high school education, the study also examined rural and nonrural students' reasons for not expecting to continue their education past the secondary level. Analyses drew on data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using descriptive statistics, chi-squared tests of association, and multinomial regression models with students nested in schools. The baseline model included only school locale, an indicator for region, and their interaction as predictors; subsequent models added student predictors, family characteristics, teacher expectations, and school contextual variables. Analyses reveal that rural students in the Midwest had lower educational expectations than their nonrural peers, yet similar levels of educational attainment after taking into account student, family, teacher, and school characteristics. For two-thirds of rural and nonrural students, educational attainment fell short of expectations. Importantly, participation in rigorous coursework, parent aspirations, and teacher expectations were more predictive of educational expectations and attainment than whether students grew up in rural areas in grade 10 in 2002. For grade 10 students who did not expect to go to college, both rural and nonrural students perceived financial barriers as the primary reason. Policymakers and other stakeholders in Midwestern states and the rest of the nation can use the results of this study to inform efforts to improve the educational attainment of rural students.
3/8/2017
REL 2017248 A review of the literature on social and emotional learning for students ages 3-8: Outcomes for different student populations and settings (part 4 of 4)
This is the fourth in a series of four related reports about what's known about social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for children ages 3-8. The purpose of the report series is to summarize the benefits of SEL in early childhood, and identify the characteristics of SEL interventions that are effective in school contexts. Responding to a need expressed by the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance, the research team conducted a systematic review and synthesis of recent research reviews and meta-analyses on the topic of SEL. This report presents outcomes for the general student population and student subgroups, including students from low-income families, racial/ethnic minority students, male and female students, English learner students, and students from urban and rural locales. Results suggest that SEL programs positively affect social and academic outcomes for the general student population, such as increased academic motivation, self-efficacy, conflict resolution skills, emotion recognition, empathy, and bonding to school; reduced antisocial behaviors and behavior problems; and higher grades and test scores. The outcomes of SEL for student subgroups are mixed. While some successful strategies for implementing SEL with diverse populations have been identified, more research is needed.
2/23/2017
REL 2017247 A review of the literature on social and emotional learning for students ages 3-8: Teacher and classroom strategies that contribute to social and emotional learning (part 3 of 4)
This is the third in a series of four related reports about what's known about social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for children ages 3-8. The purpose of the report series is to summarize the benefits of SEL in early childhood, and identify the characteristics of SEL interventions that are effective in school contexts. Responding to a need expressed by the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance, the research team conducted a systematic review and synthesis of recent research reviews and meta-analyses on the topic of SEL. The sources reviewed for this report included a large body of evidence regarding individual teacher and classroom practices that promote SEL. This report identifies three classroom factors (other than using SEL curriculum) that impact social and emotional learning: classroom climate (physical space and materials, classroom management, emotional climate), instructional strategies (modeling, reacting, teaching), and teacher social and emotional competence. Teachers and administrators can use the strategies presented in this report either alongside, or in the absence of, a formal SEL program.
2/23/2017
REL 2017246 A review of the literature on social and emotional learning for students ages 3-8: Implementation strategies and state and district support policies (part 2 of 4)
This is the second in a series of four related reports about what's known about social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for children ages 3-8. The purpose of the report series is to summarize the benefits of SEL in early childhood, and identify the characteristics of SEL interventions that are effective in school contexts. Responding to a need expressed by the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance, the research team conducted a systematic review and synthesis of recent research reviews and meta-analyses on the topic of SEL. This report is a review of the literature on the implementation strategies that support SEL programming, including a cycle of continuous improvement. It also presents state and district policy supports for SEL programming, such as engaging stakeholders, assessing resources and needs, adopting evidence-based SEL programs, integrating SEL into teacher and administrator evaluation systems, and developing comprehensive, freestanding SEL learning standards.
2/23/2017
REL 2017245 A review of the literature on social and emotional learning for students ages 3-8: Characteristics of effective social and emotional learning programs (part 1 of 4)
This is the first in a series of four related reports about what's known about social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for children ages 3-8. The purpose of the report series is to summarize the benefits of SEL in early childhood, and identify the characteristics of SEL interventions that are effective in school contexts. Responding to a need expressed by the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance, the research team conducted a systematic review and synthesis of recent research reviews and meta-analyses on the topic of SEL. This report is a review of the literature on stand-alone, evidence-based SEL programs that are associated with positive student behaviors and/or academic performance. The literature reviewed for this report also includes programs that target executive functioning, with an understanding that many SEL approaches represent a hybrid of the two. To assist educators and policymakers, this report presents information on selecting an evidenced-based SEL program and provides recommendations from experts.
2/23/2017
REL 2017210 Short-term impacts of student listening circles on student perceptions of school climate and of their own competencies
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the short-term impacts of participation in a student voice facilitation strategy—a Student Listening Circle (SLC)—on student perceptions of their input into decisionmaking at school, their relationships with school staff and peers, school bonding, their competencies for improving the school, and academic self-efficacy. The study also examined adult participants' perceptions before and after the SLC and describes how SLCs are conducted in study schools. To investigate impacts of SLC participation on students, 90 of the 256 students who volunteered to participate in the study were randomly assigned to participate in the SLC (treatment group). The remaining 166 students did not participate directly in the SLC (control group). The study took place in 9 schools in California, with random assignment conducted within each school. Both groups of students completed surveys to ascertain perceptions of school climate and personal competencies 1 week before SLC implementation, 1 week after SLC implementation, and 12 weeks after SLC implementation. SLC impacts were estimated by comparing survey responses between the treatment group and the control group at 1 week and at 12 weeks after SLC implementation. The secondary component of the study used staff surveys to assess changes in adult SLC participants' perceptions of school supports and of student competencies after the SLC, and interviews to assess their perceptions of practices implemented as a result of the SLC. The main experimental results of the study found no discernible effects of the SLC on student participants' perceptions of school climate and personal competencies. Descriptive results indicated that participating school staff reported greater average perceptions of students' abilities to contribute to school improvement, trust in students, and perceptions of student opportunities for meaningful participation at school after the SLC than they did before the SLC. Moreover, schools that implemented SLCs followed through with most action steps generated during the SLCs and implemented multiple school improvement practices to address themes suggested during the SLC. The fact that this study found no short-term impacts of SLC participation on students' perceptions of school climate or of their competencies does not necessarily mean that there is no value in implementing SLCs. SLCs are intended to produce improvements in the overall school environment, including on such factors as school-wide governance and perceptions of adults and students who do not participate in the SLC. It is possible for the SLC to have no discernable impacts on student participants but to still have impacts on school climate.
2/1/2017
NCEE 20174008 Do Low-Income Students Have Equal Access to Effective Teachers? Evidence from 26 Districts
This report examines whether low-income students are taught by less effective teachers than high-income students and if so, whether reducing this inequity would close the student achievement gap. It also describes how the hiring of teachers and their subsequent movement into and out of schools could affect low-income students' access to effective teachers. The study includes fourth- to eighth-grade teachers over five school years (2008-2009 to 2012-2013) in 26 school districts across the country. Teacher effectiveness is measured using a statistical approach that estimates a teacher's contribution to student learning controlling for students' prior achievement and other characteristics. The study found small inequities in teacher effectiveness between low- and high-income students. However, in a small subset of districts, there is meaningful inequity in access to effective teachers in math where providing equal access to effective teachers over a five year period would reduce the math achievement gap by at least a tenth of a standard deviation of student achievement, the equivalent of about 4 percentile points. The report also finds patterns of teacher hiring and transfers that are consistent with small inequities in teacher effectiveness while teacher attrition is not.
10/27/2016
REL 2016153 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 4: Engaging all in data conversations
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 4 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to help school staff understand what data is important to share with families and community members and how to share such data. Part 4 is divided into two sections: determining what student data are important to share with families and community members and presenting student data in meaningful ways. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. The activities in Part 4 help staff simplify data language, investigate data available to them, identify data to share with families, and learn strategies for sharing data with parents and community members.
9/20/2016
REL 2016151 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 2: Building a cultural bridge
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students’ ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 2 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to utilize the strengths of families and community members, and to help families establish active roles within the school community in support of student learning. Part 2 is divided into two sections: tapping into the strengths of families and communities and establishing roles for building family and community engagement. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with family and community members. The activities emphasize a strengths-based approach and are designed to help school staff and family members establish positive roles within a partnership working toward co-constructed goals for student success.
9/20/2016
REL 2016148 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 1: Building an understanding of family and community engagement
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 1 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to build awareness among educators about how their beliefs and assumptions influence their interactions with families. The activities also address how demographic characteristics of the families can provide information to educators about what might support or hinder family engagement with schools. Part 1 is divided into four sections: reflecting on beliefs and assumptions, getting to know your families, understanding the influence of cultural lenses, and acknowledging cultural differences. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and a series of activities that can be used with school staff and community members. The activities are designed to guide discussions about the influence of culture on individual beliefs, assumptions, and efforts to engage others in support of student learning.
9/20/2016
REL 2016158 Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students With Non-English Names
Getting a student’s name right is the first step in welcoming him or her to school. Incorrectly entering student names can mean that the same student is listed in different databases in various ways and often with incomplete records. Consequently, students who are eligible for services (for example, English learner support) can be unidentified or overlooked. This set of naming conventions guides can serve as a reference for accurately and consistently entering students’ names in school, district, and state databases as well as address and greet parents and other family members in a culturally responsive and respectful way. The guides are available for students with home languages of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
6/14/2016
REL 2015094 Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts
States and districts are increasingly concerned about how exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) and lost instructional time impacts student outcomes. Also, there is concern about whether there are disparities in exclusionary discipline rates between students from different subgroups and their peers. This study examines data from six Oregon school districts to discern patterns of exclusionary discipline and the association of exclusionary discipline with achievement on state assessments in reading and mathematics for English language learner (ELL) students, who are a large, growing, and challenging population in Oregon schools. The districts will use the results to develop specific plans for making their disciplinary practices both fair and effective.
8/4/2015
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