School and Classroom Organization

School and Classroom Organization

School and Classroom Organization

School and Classroom Organization

Synopsis

Because the organization of the classroom and the school provide the framework for teaching and learning, this important volume reviews research that focuses on specific issues including: achievement effects of alternative school and classroom organizational practices, ability grouping, departmentalization, special and remedial programs, evaluation processes, and class size. The studies utilize realistic evaluations rather than laboratory or experimental data, and do not prescribe particular practices.

Excerpt

Over the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in knowledge about teacher behaviors associated with gains in student achievement. Research on such issues as effective instructional behaviors and classroom management has identified the practices of outstanding effective teachers. However, effective instruction is more than the sum of teacher behaviors. The organization of the classroom and of the school provide the context within which teaching takes place, and this context may be pivotal in determining the effectiveness of the school's instructional program.

This volume presents critical reviews of research on school and classroom organization. All of the reviews focus on the achievement effects of alternative school and classroom organizational practices; each attempts to answer the question, "What do we know now about how to organize classrooms and schools to accelerate student achievement?" The reviews examine such school organization issues as ability grouping, departmentalization, special and remedial programs, evaluation processes, and class size. At the classroom level, questions about lesson organization and effective use of time are addressed, and research is reviewed on two widely used alternative classroom organization models, mastery learning and cooperative learning.

Each of the chapters centers on evaluations of the achievement effects of alternative school and classroom organizational practices as they are applied in practice, not as they are used in the laboratory or in brief experiments. The emphasis of the book is on practices that are under the direct control of school districts, principals, and/or teachers, and the impact that these practices have on student achievement under real-life conditions. The conclusions drawn in the various chapters do not prescribe particular practices, because there are many factors that must be taken into account in making decisions about how to organize schools, including effects of school and classroom practices on outcomes other than achievement. However, decisions about school and classroom . . .

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