It’s never too late

A special issue of the Journal of Children’s Services focuses on working with children and their families to reduce the risks of crime and anti-social behaviour. One article, co-written by the IEE’s Tracey Bywater, emphasises that despite the current focus on “early intervention” in policy, programmes aimed at older children can also be effective.

The authors found that there are increasing numbers of effective programmes for children aged 9–13 that aim to reduce current or future involvement in criminal or anti-social behaviour. These include school, family, and community programmes.

Source: Supporting from the start: effective programmes for nine to 13 year-olds (2006), Journal of Children’s Services, 7(1)

Different approaches to teaching EAL pupils

The IEE’s Robert Slavin has taken part in a radio debate in the US about how best to teach pupils with English as an Additional Language. In the US, many pupils receive bilingual teaching and this has attracted the attention of Republican Presidential election candidates.

Source: English Immersion: The Bilingual Education Debate (2013), The Take Away

A Finnish model worth replicating

In a recent blog post, the IEE’s Robert Slavin argues that there is something we should copy from Finland. An article by Pasi Sahlberg, of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, explains that Finland’s success is no miracle, but is based on studying the policies and practices of other countries, trying them out in Finland, and keeping those that work.

The willingness to find out what works, regardless of its source, and then try it out at home, is one Finnish innovation we should emulate, comments Professor Slavin.

Source: A Finnish model worth replicating (2012), Education Week (Sputnik Blog)

Time to think about prevention

Should we put a fence at the top of the hill or an ambulance at the bottom? Instead, how about an ounce of prevention? That is the topic of a recent blog post from Robert Slavin, Director of the Institute for Effective Education.

On his new Education Week blog, “Sputnik: Advancing Education through Innovation and Evidence,” he writes, “There are good reasons to invest in proven educational programs at all levels and in all subjects, but when proven programs also reduce government expenditures within a few years, even the most bottom-line oriented administrator or legislator should see the need to invest in proven prevention”.

Source: Why not an ounce of prevention? (2012), Education Week (Sputnik Blog)

Education fashions detrimental to research

Fashions and fads in education are a real problem in terms of evidence-based practice, says the IEE’s Robert Slavin on his blog. Without an evidence base, policies and practice swing between enthusiasms and no progress is made.

Fashions can even have an impact on commissioned research. Many evaluations are of government policies, but these have often gone out of favour by the time the research is published. He does offer a solution: “ have a wide array of research going on at all times that is creating and evaluating promising solutions to longstanding problems”.

Source: Stop the pendulum, I want to get off (2011), Education Week (Sputnik Blog)

Self-paced learning looks promising

A new study by the Institute for Effective Education has shown that self-paced learning could produce significant gains in primary maths learning. In self-paced learning pupils answer, at their own pace, questions delivered directly to electronic handsets.

The technology instantly marks the responses and feeds back the results to both pupil and teacher. Teachers can use this formative assessment to help pupils and guide future teaching. Significant gains in pupils’ mathematical learning were made by those pupils using the self-paced learning technology.

Source: Self-paced learning: Effective technology-supported formative assessment report on achievement findings (2011), Institute for Effective Education