Archive article #99–01

Effective schools/accomplished teachers

Barbara M. Taylor, P. David Pearson, Kathleen F. Clark, and Sharon Walpole

ABSTRACT

This study examined the practices of effective schools and accomplished teachers to provide a model for aspiring schools. Seventy teachers of grades 1-3 from low-income schools in Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, and California participated in this study, which investigated the school & classroom practices in effective (unexpectedly high-achieving) schools and compared them to practices in moderately & least effective schools. Research methods included routine and repeated observation of reading instruction, survey and interview data regarding classroom practices, and teacher-submitted time logs detailing reading instruction. The researchers gathered performance data to assess individual reading achievement, and created composite scores based on overall school performance data to assess school effectiveness. The research showed that the most effective schools utilized a collaborative model for reading instruction that provided greater capacity to offer higher levels of small-group instruction. These schools also demonstrated a greater commitment to reading school-wide, which was evidenced by greater time spent in teacher-directed reading instruction and independent reading, higher level questioning, and increased communication between teachers and parents.

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