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Breaking the Cycle of Underperformance Developing academic optimism. Drexel University Noyce Program Sheila R. Vaidya, Ph.D. Cynthia Paul( Doctoral Student) Ryan Batkie (Noyce Teacher). High Need Schools & Teacher Performance.
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Drexel University Noyce Program
Sheila R. Vaidya, Ph.D.
Cynthia Paul( Doctoral Student)
Ryan Batkie (Noyce Teacher)
-As I visited the high need schools where Noyce teachers were placed, I wanted to know how we were making a difference in high need schools.
-High-poverty, low-performing schools fight a constant uphill battle to recruit and retain teachers and principals.
-They have more trouble attracting enough experienced applicants, lose staff at a much higher rate (over one in five teachers every year), and must fill vacancies again and again with less-qualified candidates.
-Data from the Education trust conveyed that in high need schools- high poverty, low performing schools, teachers are twice as likely to have less experience, lack certification and about 70% typically would be teaching out-of field.
- Closing the Teacher Quality gap- the poorer the student, the less qualified the teacher; one often sees “dreadful teaching” in the highest poverty schools.
I visited several classrooms, obtained Achievement test data, talked to Principals and I could see that some of our teachers were turning around the cycle of underperformance while others were doing what was needed.
But it took leadership and strong beliefs to do more-
Overhaul the curriculum
Transforming the school’s self-image: 2006-2010
Design and create a Physics lab
I began to wonder what it is about the teachers that was making a difference?
All of them had the content knowledge, the pedagogical knowledge, technology knowledge- so I began to look into the literature and came across a concept that was being developed by Anita Wolfolk, Wayne Hoy (2006, 2009) at Ohio State University- they called this characteristic “Teacher’s academic Optimism”
They said that they too found that teacher’s academic optimism was a construct that they had studied and developed a theoretical measure of-
It challenged the findings of the Coleman report about the socioeconomic status continuing to impede student learning and that teacher beliefs were having an impact.
• Believe all students can learn
• we need to find ways to teach them
• Teachers are high in self-efficacy
• Demonstrate academic optimism
• Teachers who stay
• Talk to their students
Providing a counter narrative to the prevailing view that the way to improve education is to “fix” teachers or “fill them up” with best practices- arguing for an alternative view point-teaching is relational and is fundamentally about forming connections that scaffold learning.
Cultivate academic optimism?
1). Specific feedback; 3). Regular and frequent parent feedback;
2). Peer tutoring; 4). Direct or explicit instruction when needed
On Site Feb – June 2010
Program remains in place
Significant additional resources allocated to math
3 support personnel (up from 1.5)
Additional 180 minutes per week devoted to math
Continued student success