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Instruction and Achievement in Chicago Elementary Schools. Improving Chicago's Schools.

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This study focused on the link between different forms of instruction and learning in Chicago, Illinois, elementary schools. It used teachers' survey reports about their instruction in the 1997-1997 school year and linked these reports with achievement gains. The study tested the common assumption that the nature of standardized assessments requires that teachers who want to enhance their students' test scores should make extensive use of the classroom drill and practice activities associated with didactic instruction and review rather than more interactive teaching. Student information was available for 110,775 students. The composite sample for teacher surveys was 5,586 from 384 schools. The study found strong empirical evidence that in Chicago's elementary schools the instructional approach teachers use influences how much students learn in reading and mathematics. Interactive teaching methods were associated with more learning in both subjects. Findings call into question the assumption that low-achieving economically disadvantaged students are best served by teaching that emphasizes didactic methods and review. The study also found important relationships between teachers' professional preparation and the presence of key organizational supports within their schools. These findings support policy efforts to education teachers on how to educate teachers to use interactive methods with all their students, to provide opportunities for teachers to engage in dialogues with their colleagues, and to encourage principals to provide strong instructional leadership. An appendix contains details on data sources and samples used. (Contains 14 figures, 16 endnotes, and 21 references.) (SLD)

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Author:Smith, Julia B.; Lee, Valerie E.; Newmann, Fred M.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:Authentic Intellectual Work and Standardized Tests: Conflict or Coexistence? Improving Chicago's Schools.
Next Article:Annual CPS Test Trend Review, 2000. Research Data Brief. Academic Productivity Series, 2000 Results.

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