Sunday, June 7, 2009

NMAP pg xxiii Explicit Instruction

27) Explicit instruction with students who have mathematical difficulties has shown consistently positive effects on performance with word problems and computation. Results are consistent for students with learning disabilities, as well as other students who perform in the lowest third of a typical class.

By the term explicit instruction, the Panel means that teachers provide clear models for solving a problem type using an array of examples, that students receive extensive practice in use of newly learned strategies and skills, that students are provided with opportunities to think aloud (i.e., talk through the decisions they make and the steps they take), and that students are provided with extensive feedback.

This finding does not mean that all of a student’s mathematics instruction should be delivered in an explicit fashion. However, the Panel recommends that struggling students receive some explicit mathematics instruction regularly. Some of this time should be dedicated to ensuring that these students possess the foundational skills and conceptual knowledge necessary for understanding the mathematics they are learning at their grade level.
Assessment pg xxv
36) The Panel recommends a more appropriate balance in how algebra is defined and assessed at both the Grade 4 and Grade 8 levels of the NAEP. The Panel strongly recommends that “algebra” problems involving patterns should be greatly reduced in these tests. The same consideration applies to state tests.
page 9
The Panel took consistent note of the President’s emphasis on “the best available scientific evidence” and set a high bar for admitting research results into consideration. In essence, the Panel required the work to have been carried out in a way that manifested rigor and could support generalization at the level of significance to policy.

No comments: