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Topic: Direct Instruction Wins
Replies: 30   Last Post: May 10, 2011 5:21 PM

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Jonathan Groves

Posts: 2,068
From: Kaplan University, Argosy University, Florida Institute of Technology
Registered: 8/18/05
Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Posted: Apr 21, 2011 7:05 AM
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Ihor,

I agree with your comments here, and even the ones who carried out this study
mention the study's weakness in using TIMSS data to reach these conclusions:


"Still, it is important to keep in mind that our results are limited to student
achievement as measured by the 2003 TIMSS test scores in 8th-grade math and
science in the United States. Different results might be found for different
subjects, grades, or tests. Depending on the teacher, the students, the content
taught, or other factors, problem-solving activities could turn out to be the
more effective style. Even though lecture-style teaching seems to be a more
effective method in middle-school math and science, that does not mean it
would be the preferable approach to elementary-school reading.

"Also, our findings are based on student performance on the TIMSS math and
science exams, which are designed to measure mastery of factual knowledge
of the curricula that schools expect students to learn. Other tests intended
to measure problem-solving ability and the competence to apply mathematical
and scientific concepts in real-world settings (such as the Programme for
International Student Assessment [PISA] administered by the Organization of
Economic Cooperation and Development) might yield different results.
Unfortunately, we are unable to ascertain whether this might be the case,
as PISA did not ask teachers about their pedagogical approach."


Essentially, they are saying that the weakness of this study is in measuring
student performance, which is based on test results and test results that
emphasize mostly knowing facts. What about the ability to reason mathematically?
TIMSS is multiple-choice whereas PISA is not. We can't gather much about their
abilities to reason if their reasoning is not written and analyzed. And who
knows how much of that reasoning they used works mainly because the test is
multiple choice as opposed to free response. Similar results hold for science.
And a big weakness is that any test does not measure long-term learning and
understanding. In short, the picture may be incomplete.

And the study focuses just on eighth-grade math and science. What about
other grade levels? What about other subjects?

Another problem is that this study does not attempt to measure how teachers
actually try to implement their teaching styles in the classroom:


"Finally, our information on teaching practices, which is based on in-class
time use reported by teachers, does not allow us to distinguish between
different implementations of teaching practices. In other words, a certain
teaching technique may be very effective if implemented in the optimal way.
But the strength of our approach is that it examines which teaching style
turns out to be effective, on average, for teachers in general. Optimal
teaching methods that cannot be executed by teachers in general may do more
harm than good."


I agree: In the hands of an inexperienced teacher or in the hands of a
teacher who lacks strong understanding of math, problem-solving and other
student-centered approaches to teaching can be disastrous. Also if
teachers still emphasize learning to follow rules on template exercises
via alternative teaching methods rather than on reasoning and learning to
tackle problems for which they are not expected to know how to solve right
away, for which they cannot solve by mimicking a solution discussed in
class or in their textbook, these alternative methods are probably not
going to help much. Focusing on memorization rather than on reasoning
and understanding and solving problems generally results in disaster,
no matter how we try to go about teaching it (whatever "it" may be).




Jonathan Groves




On 4/19/2011 at 12:03 pm, Ihor Charischak wrote:

> Hi Wayne,
> I just read the article you referenced and it
> inspired me to comment at that site. Here's what I
> wrote:
>
> What this study has shown is that teaching to the
> tests produces better test scores. No one should
> question that. But do students better understand the
> material as a result? That?s the endless debate
> that?s been going on for years. Would I send my kid
> to a high powered ?no excuse? school? It depends. If
> I want to brag to my friends what a great student I
> have in math I might be tempted. But I would prefer a
> more liberal education where the "Royal Road to
> Calculus" is not just one way (or the highway)
> approach as the KIPP schools are prone to brag about.
> But also include detours into some fascinating
> investigations where students apply their math
> skills. In fact, they may be so attracted by the
> detour that they may never get back on the Royal Road
> and become doctors or lawyers where knowing the
> advanced intricacies of Calculus may not be required
> for entry.
> -Ihor
>
> Ihor Charischak
> CLIME - Booth #326 NCTM Conference 2011
> Council for Technology in Math Education
> Website: http://clime.org
> Blog: http://climeconnections.blogspot.com
>
> On Apr 19, 2011, at 11:11 AM, Wayne Bishop wrote:
>

> > Once again, Reid Lyon got it right back in 2003.
> >

> http://educationnext.org/eighth-grade-students-learn-m
> ore-through-direct-instruction/

> >
> > Expect the NCTM and AAAS to change course

> immediately. And all pigs to sprout wings.
> >
> > Wayne



Date Subject Author
4/19/11
Read Direct Instruction Wins
Bishop, Wayne
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Haim
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Ihor Charischak
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Jonathan Groves
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Richard Strausz
4/20/11
Read RE: Direct Instruction Wins
Bishop, Wayne
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/19/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Louis Talman
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Richard Strausz
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Haim
4/21/11
Read RE: Direct Instruction Wins
Bishop, Wayne
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Jonathan Groves
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
R. Wright
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Shirley Ann
4/21/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Registrar@mathsense.org
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Joshua Fisher
4/20/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/21/11
Read RE: Direct Instruction Wins
Bishop, Wayne
4/21/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
R. Wright
4/21/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Jonathan Groves
4/21/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Jonathan Groves
4/21/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen
4/26/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Shirley Ann
5/9/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
James Elander
5/10/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Shirley Ann
5/10/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
redcap
5/10/11
Read Re: Direct Instruction Wins
Robert Hansen

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