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Achievement Gaps in Rural Schools: What the Research Says Penny B. Howell The University of Louisville.

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Presentation on theme: "Achievement Gaps in Rural Schools: What the Research Says Penny B. Howell The University of Louisville."— Presentation transcript:

1 Achievement Gaps in Rural Schools: What the Research Says Penny B. Howell The University of Louisville

2 Used the following keywords to identify research articles: Rural Education Achievement Achievement Gap(s) NCLB Poverty Students with Disabilities

3 Overview Very little research is published on rural school education with regard to achievement(Walsh, 2005). This is acknowledged within the research with a call for a more systematic examination/exploration of how to close achievement gaps in rural schools among all groups(Walsh, 2005).

4 General Findings 68% of all rural school(nationwide) report significant gaps within their student populations(Zhang, 2008) The largest gaps exist among students with disabilities(Zhang, 2008). These gaps are recognized as the hardest gap to close(Zhang, 2008).

5 How to close the gaps The number one factor that contributes to closing the achievement gaps is TEACHER QUALITY(Zhang, 2008; Missouri K-16 Task Force, 2002; Jaekyung, 2001; Marshall, 2009; Meehan, Cowley, Schumacher, Hauser, Croom, 2003).

6 Findings (Meehan et. al. 2003) Six areas of consideration: 1. Use of classroom time 2. Presence or use of instructional resources 3. Climate and tone of classroom 4. Expectations and Feedback 5. Quality of Instruction 6. Level of Instruction

7 Use of classroom time Schools with minimal gaps had classrooms that used time more efficiently and effectively(Meehan, et. al. 2003; Zhang, 2008). Less time on administrative routines More time on instruction(24.5 more hours per year) More student-led activities(58 more hours per year) Effective management techniques (instructional time, pacing of lesson)

8 Instructional Resources Textbooks and the use of a variety of materials were discovered more in minimum-gap schools.

9 Classroom climate/tone The climate in the minimum-gap school classrooms was more cheerful and inviting, open and risk-free, and had less distracting external noises/interruptions. The teachers in minimum-gap school classrooms showed a sense of humor more than their counterparts in large-gap schools

10 Expectations and Feedback Teachers communicated high expectations to their students, conducted formal and/or informal assessments of their students and also provided immediate and corrective feedback to students.

11 Quality of Instruction Teachers utilize the principles of effective instruction(organizing information orderly, effective transitions between topics, restating essential principles, advanced organizers and helping students recall prior knowledge).

12 Level of Instruction Consistently relating content to students’ lives Giving students responsibility for their learning.

13 Recommendations Student engagement Student centered instruction Welcoming environment(academically, intellectually and physically safe) High expectations Formal/informal assessments Immediate and corrective feedback Connecting school and community(making content relevant to students)

14 One last thought…. “Gap-closing schools invested in teacher collaboration, setting aside time during the weekly school schedule for teachers to meet…to discuss data-related strategies.” (Walsh, 2005)

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