CLASSROOM STRUGGLE

Strategy and Analysis to Defend and Transform Public Education

8 Myths of Corporate Deform

Many myths exist that perpetuate the inequalities we deal with in education on a daily basis.  This article and the relatively new book it reviews helps to uncover some of them.  Some of these will likely sound familiar while some might sound new.  But backed up with evidence from two leading and long-time education researchers, David Berliner and Gene Glass, and this information will be useful for anyone trying to upend corporate deform.

The 3 myths below gives you a taste of the 8 myths featured in the article.  The full book explores 50 in total.  It’s titled 50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education.  Be sure to check it out!

The full article with the other 5 myths is from Edutopia. Link is here.

Myth #1: Teachers Are the Most Important Influence on a Child’s Education

Of course teachers are extremely important. Good teachers make a significant difference in achievement. But research indicates that less than 30 percent of a student’s academic success is attributable to schools and teachers. The most significant variable is socioeconomic status, followed by the neighborhood, the psychological quality of the home environment, and the support of physical health provided. There are others, but the bottom line is that teachers have far less power to improve student achievement than do varied outside factors.

Myth #2: Homework Boosts Achievement

There is no evidence that this is true. In Finland, students have higher achievement with little or no homework and shorter school hours. The more important factor is what students experience during the school day. Project-based learning, as one example, places the emphasis on what is done during the day. If students choose to do more after hours, that’s their choice. There also may sometimes be other good reasons to assign homework, butthere should be no illusion that homework will help increase student achievement.

Myth #3: Class Size Does Not Matter

In an average high school, one teacher is responsible for 100-150 students on any given day. Students inevitably get lost in the shuffle. Research evidence strongly indicates that a decrease in the number of students has a qualitative pedagogical impact. When reductions occur in elementary classrooms, evidence has shown that the extra individualized attention and instruction appear to make it more likely for these students to graduate at higher rates from high school. Affluent families more frequently opt for districts or for private schools with smaller classes. It should come as no surprise that larger class sizes may disproportionally impact the children of the poor. Therefore, reducing class sizes will in fact result in more learning.

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This entry was posted on December 28, 2014 by in News & Analysis and tagged , .
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