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What Makes A School Effective?

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  1. What Makes A School Effective? DevikaNadig & Vijay Gupta Shikshangan

  2. School effectiveness…. • Effective school is one which enhances learning achievement of every student • Reasonable infrastructure, sufficient number of teachers and learning resources are necessary but not sufficient to make a school effective • Factors beyond these which make a school effective has been an area of intense research • Here is one such proposal from Robert Marzano, and its critique and relevance to Indian schools

  3. A bit of background…. • Marzano’s framework is based on hundreds of researches done by others…that is, it is a meta-research • He categorizes the factors contributing to school effectiveness into three: • School level factors • Teacher level factors • Student level factors

  4. School Effectiveness Factors • School level factors • Guaranteed and viable curriculum • Challenging goals and effective feedback • Parent and community involvement • Safe and orderly environment • Collegiality and professionalism • Teacher level factors • Instructional strategies • Classroom management • Classroom curriculum design • Student level factors • Home environment • Learned intelligence & background knowledge • Motivation

  5. 5 School Level Factors In order of the impact they have on student achievement: Guaranteed and viable curriculum Challenging goals and effective feedback Parent and community involvement Safe and orderly environment Collegiality and professionalism

  6. Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum • Simply, whether students had adequate time to learn what we want them to learn • Attempt is to minimize the gap between intended curriculum and implemented curriculum • Do we have adequate time for instruction? How much time is available theoretically, and how much actually gets utilized? (Highest estimates are around 70%)

  7. Challenging Goals & Effective Feedback • Establish challenging goals for students – set high expectations - and track the extent to which goals are being achieved • Give timely feedback to students - which is formative and specific to the content being learnt

  8. Parent & Community Involvement • Extent to which parents and community are both supportive of, and involved in school • Marzano suggests three features of this involvement: • Communication between school and parents • Participation in day to day working of the school • Participation in governance of the school

  9. Safe & Orderly Environment Refers to school climate and disciplined environment conducive to learning Establish clear school-wide rules and procedures for general behaviour, and enforce appropriate consequences for violations of rules and procedures

  10. Collegiality & Professionalism Manner in which school staff interacts and extent to which they approach their colleagues as professionals How supportive they are to one another; openly sharing their failures and mistakes; demonstrating respect for each other; constructively analyzing and criticizing practices and procedures; Professionalism – a sense of efficacy – that they can effect changes in their schools Valued and critical part of school’s policy setting Reasonable level of subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge

  11. 3 Teacher Level Factors Instructional strategies Classroom management Classroom curriculum design

  12. Instructional Strategies • More effective teachers use more effective instructional strategies • Marzano lists following nine strategies as being found to be most effective: • Identifying similarities & differences i.e. compare, classify, metaphor & analogies • Summarizing & note taking – verbal/written summaries, taking notes • Reinforcing effort & providing recognition • Homework & practice – specific feedback on homework; homework for practicing • Non-linguistic representation – mental images, pictures, graphic organizer, acting out the content, physical models etc.

  13. Instructional Strategies (contd.) • Other effective strategies: • Cooperative learning • Setting objectives and providing feedback • Generating and testing hypothesis • Questions, cues and advance organizers – prior to presenting new content, getting students to recall, provide links and represent previous knowledge

  14. Classroom Management In order that instruction and learning can take place: Establishing and enforcing rules and procedures Carrying out disciplinary actions Maintaining effective teacher-student relationship Maintaining an appropriate mental set for management

  15. Classroom Curriculum Design Sequencing and pacing of content in the classroom – three principles suggested by Marzano: Learning is enhanced when a teacher identifies specific types of knowledge that are the focus of a unit or lesson Learning requires engagement in tasks that are structured or are sufficiently similar to allow for effective transfer of knowledge Learning requires multiple exposure to and complex interaction with knowledge

  16. 3 Student Level Factors Home environment Learned intelligence & background knowledge Motivation

  17. Home Environment As per Marzano, home atmosphere comprises three elements: Communication about school i.e. parent discussing with children about school work; encouraging children regarding school work; and providing resources to help children do their school work Supervision i.e. extent of parent monitoring and controlling child’s behaviour to optimize academic achievement Parental expectations and parenting style – high expectations and high achievement are correlated; parenting style – authoritarian, permissive & authoritative

  18. Learned Intelligence & Background Knowledge Intelligence has two aspects – as knowledge (crystallized intelligence), and as cognitive process (fluid intelligence) Crystallized intelligence is learned while the other is largely innate; Fluid intelligence is instrumental in developing crystallized intelligence Crystallized intelligence is same as background knowledge for all practical purposes Experience-rich environment helps in enhancing background knowledge Experience-rich environment has a direct correlation with vocabulary

  19. Motivation Refers to student motivation to learn the content in a given subject Students are motivated when there is autonomy, mastery and purpose

  20. A Critique Marzano’s framework is silent on what is a good curriculum (or syllabus); perhaps because there are learning standards in place in most of the states of the US Framework is similar in spirit as Balance Scorecard and quality models which attempt to discover input parameters, controlling which will ensure quality outcomes Framework can possibly be enhanced by using the idea of levels from Capability Maturity Models (CMM) used in software business

  21. Our experience with Indian schools… • Factors which require major pulling up: • Guaranteed & viable curriculum • Collegiality & professionalism • All three teacher level factors • Learned intelligence & background knowledge • ‘The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers’

  22. Thank You