Aubrey Daniels takes a well-deserved scalpel to the appealing, but ultimately destructive, myths propagated by Alfie Kohn in particular the idea that conditionality is coercive. Daniels argues forcefully that “all behaviour that matters is conditional”. Daniel also points out the shakiness of the ‘research’ that Kohn uses to support his opinions.
This extract explores the literature on how teachers react to students who have been labelled. It is a very readable yet challenging analysis of the conscious and unconscious ways in which teachers tend to respond to labels rather than learners. The consequences for learners are profound.
This literature review of studies over the course of 30 years examines the effects of labelling students as learning disabled. The report concludes that, whether or not labels are useful, “applying a diagnostic label to an individual is a profound decision that affects the rest of his or her educational career and life.”
Graham Nuthall highlights the lessons that he learned over several decades as a researcher. In particular, he challenges teachers to gain a greater sense of students’ experiences of education, suggesting that we often operate on inaccurate assumptions.
Shepard Barbash’s account of how Direct Instruction developed, and why it is so successful, also explains how much this success affects students’ experience of school and their self-concept as learners.
This readable summary of research into reading motivation, and the classroom practices that foster it, is a useful guide for any teacher interested in helping students to engage with greater depth and breadth in their reading.
This presentation argues: “Older students, as well as struggling readers, frequently lose motivation to read as texts become more complex and demanding.” Practical strategies to re-engage learners and to improve their experience of school are outlined.
This website provides a wide range of resources and ideas for motivating and engaging students of all ages. While there might be debate about which are more or less effective, a range of approaches will be needed to reach a range of students, and this page provides a good starting point to plan your own strategy.
The article discusses the de-motivation that common classroom reading strategies may have for students who lack decoding, comprehension or fluency skills. It also provides suggestions for appropriate ways to build fluency so that reading is more enjoyable.
The importance of reading success in ensuring that students develop both academic proficiency and affective security are demonstrated in this important study.
Regardless of good intentions, how adults interact with students can have many unforeseen consequences for their experience of school. What seemed like helping behaviours to adults were often disempowering for the children, leading to lower quality instruction, limited interaction with teachers, isolation from peers, and lower self-expectations.
This briefing summarises key issues around the use of teacher aides (LSAs) in classrooms and concludes that without appropriate training, for both teachers and support staff, the practice may be of limited or even negative value.
This early study showed that teachers may inadvertently encourage student failure by giving attention for the wrong contingencies. Skillful teachers can shape students’ behavior by thoughtful analysis of their interactions, without being manipulative.
This article considers various statements by educationalists about what constitutes developmentally appropriate practice, and shows how Direct Instruction programmes have benefits for children emotionally, socially and academically.
A short summary challenging the main myths and misconceptions about Direct Instruction, including those which allege it is ‘oppressive’, ‘drill and kill’ and a barrier to creativity.
Although not easy to obtain, this comprehensive text provides a host of lucidly organised information on ways of addressing even the most profound learning difficulties. Beneath all this practice lies a clear ethical framework that values people regardless of their abilities or disabilities. (This links to Amazon, not an article).