In a major, long-term study of school reform models, scripted learning did best in high-poverty elementary schools, reports Education Week.
Thirteen years ago, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education‘s Study of Instructional Improvement set out to study three models: Success for All requires teachers to follow a detailed, instructional script; America’s Choice is less scripted but uses coaches to get teachers to follow the same strategies; Accelerated Schools urges teachers to develop their own strategies to help “students to ‘construct’ their own knowledge through interactive, real-world activities.”
Over time, what the researchers found was that, while teachers in the 28 schools using the Accelerated Schools model were most likely to feel a sense of autonomy and trust in their schools, their teaching practices were not significantly different from those used in the 26 comparison schools. The study’s preliminary analyses suggest that students, likewise, did not learn any more than their control-group counterparts did.
. . . In comparison, classes in the 31 America’s Choice schools and the 29 Success for All schools developed their own distinctive looks over time. The different instructional patterns, in turn, led to different, and more successful, student-achievement patterns.
Success for All students excelled from kindergarten through second grade; the average student moved from the 40th percentile to the 50th percentile 2½ years later. In third through fifth grade, the America’s Choice students were the top performers.