Blog entry by Nguyen Teachers

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As teachers, we have read hundreds of education research articles on learning theories, school climates, school cultures, and teaching strategies. When we were completing our teaching credentials and graduate course,  we did not fully comprehend what the research findings have on our instruction, classroom management, and our students’ learning. However, our years of teaching at high-risk students allowed to gain a better understanding and application. Below are some of the most critical research and readings that have the most significant impact on our teaching and our StreamlineED Professional Development. 

The research behind our Behavioral, Social, and Emotional Intervention is  Skinner's Positive and Negative Reinforcement and Punishment.  Combining with underlying theory and gathered comprehensive and real-time data, we can provide multi-tiered intervention and support. 

Positive and Negative Reinforcement and Punishment

One of the most significant research behind our instructional strategies is Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development.  Combining with gathered comprehensive and instant data, we can scaffold students to build on prior knowledge and make connections to develop new understanding. This strategy is furthered support by John Hattie's Visible Learning and his Ranking of Influences. According to Hattie, students' self-graded report has the greatest impact on students' learning (1.57). 

Zone of Proximal Development

Another important research that is aligned with Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development is Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory. Combining 

This learning theory allows use to develop different activities that best fit for students of different ages. Likewise, it also gives us insight into how we assess our students. Using today's Learning Management System, we can embed rich multimedia (pictures, audios, and videos) to create activities that appropriate for each grade level.

  • Birth to 2 Years of Age: Develop sensation and motor skills
  • 2 to 7 Years of Age: Students earn and use objects, symbols, language, and gestures to communicate.
  • 7 to 11 Years of Age: Students can think logically using tangible objects and models.
  • 11 to Adulthood: Students can think in more abstract, hypothetically, and idealistically. 

One current Research that leads us to redefine our Direct Interactive Instruction into Self-Reflective Direct Instruction is The VARK Model, which describes students' different learning styles.  The acronym VARK stands for Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic sensory modalities that are used for learning information.  

Visual(V): Students learn from looking at diagrams, pictures, graphs, and concepts map to explain and convey information and concepts.

Auditory(A): Students learn by hearing and talking to others or to oneself.  Students learn through hearing or saying it.

Read/Write (R): Students learn from information displayed as words or text. For example, students write their notes, and they read and annotate to learn the information.

Kinesthetic (K): Students through demonstration, simulations, videos, movies, and other concrete examples. 

Students help each othersA mixture of Learning Modalities:  Our understanding of how students learn to allow to implement teaching strategies that support multiple learning modalities. For example, our Self-Reflective Direct Instruction redefines direct instruction activities with interactive video lectures with adaptive questions that check for understanding and provide challenges for students to think critically and collaborate. Traditional direct instruction is teacher-driven, and students often passively wait for teachers to give answers.  Consequently, struggling and at-risk act up because they could not follow the pace of the teachers, or they often give up. Consequently, at-risk students are viewed as trouble makers or being ignored by teachers.  However, our Self-Reflective Directed Instruction allows students to learn at their own pace when they learn the content for the first time, so teachers can facilitate and support at-risk students. More importantly, the gathered comprehensive and real-time data allow teachers to screen for and provide earlier intervention.  After every student is given the chance to challenge themselves and learn the content, the teacher will use the data to further differentiate follow-up lessons that build on students' prior knowledge to develop a deeper understanding. Overall, this model of direct instruction allows students to actively learn the content for the long-term. 

One of the most current research is John Hattie’s Visible Learning and Ranks of Influences and Effect Sizes on Students’ Learning  Outcomes.

1- Collective teacher efficacy (1.57)

2– Self-reported grades (1.33)

3– Student estimates of achievement (1.29)

4– Cognitive task analysis (1.29)

5— Response to intervention (1.29)

6—Piagetian programs (1.28)

7– Jigsaw program (1.20)

8—Conceptual change program (0.99)

9– Prior ability (0.94)

10—Strategy to integrate with prior knowledge (0.93)

11– Students’ Self-efficacy (0.92)

12—Teacher credibility  (0.90)


Teacher help a group of students.Important Notes: As current teachers, it obvious to us that the value of Hattie’s work is not the list of influences, but it is the underlying theme that the list conveys. That is, Hattie’s finding supports the importance of empowering teachers and allow teachers to be innovative. School leaders and staffs need to embrace teachers’ credibility, professionalism, and expertise, so teachers can implement teaching strategies that integrate students’ prior knowledge and students’ diverse needs. Through this process, teachers help students to build self-efficacy, construct new understanding, and provide individualized support. Through Hattie’s work, we understand the value and needs for integrating today technology to provide instant feedback and other forms of support and interventions.

[ Modified: Friday, 1 March 2019, 7:56 PM ]