EPISD–active learning

Dan Wever sent in a link to a published study of active learning.

You can read the report at https://publications.iadb.org/bitstream/handle/11319/6825/Challenges%20in%20Educational%20Reform%3a%20An%20Experiment%20on%20Active%20Learning%20in%20%20Mathematics.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

The study divided schools into “treatment” (those that applied active learning interventions) and “control” (non active learning) groups.

The study’s results

Surprisingly, we find that the control group learned significantly more than any of the
intervention groups. The students using only the active learning approach learned about 17
percent less than the status quo. The loss in the group that also received technology was 25
percent of a standard deviation. We also find that the best students were harmed the most by this
intervention.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

38 Responses to EPISD–active learning

  1. Chico says:

    Haters gonna hate … folks, this is the symbol of tone deaf leadership. Don’t listen. Don’t fix things. Just label anyone who disagrees a “hater.” As a hater, I’m a parent, a district volunteer, and taxpayer. Thank you for letting us all know what you think of these groups of people.

    Like

    • EPISD parent says:

      I agree with Chico. Tim Holt should be fired. I can’t imagine any other public-serving organization that would allow a member of its management to refer to community members as “haters.” School districts are here to serve the community, not argue with it.

      If you don’t like what the public says, see if there are kernels of truth in the criticism. If so, fix them. If not, shut your mouth.

      Like

  2. abandon hope says:

    Dan – Thank you for letting we taxpayers know what EPISD is doing with our $. I had no idea about these changes and do not agree with them at all. If teachers are having to be retrained, why do universities go through the motions of training teachers? It is not the taxpayers’ responsibility to train teachers in an alternative methodology that some people happen to like, a methodology that is unproven. If it were proven why don’t universities teach it?

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    • ripper1951 says:

      While I know and respect Tim Holt, there are many items he has put forth that have been “partially” adopted by the Board. Sort of like putting only two screws into a chair that needs 8. Might hold together for awhile but it’ll still collapse without the addition of the screws. EPISD just revised its 202 plan with a 2021 plan. Essentially they’ll be throwing anything out and against the wall to see what sticks. 62 different initiatives and still counting.

      Like

  3. ripper1951 says:

    I give up. Tim, you and EPISD obviously have all the answers and the students will be geniuses in a year or so.

    Like

    • TBH says:

      Mike, don’t you do active learning in your classroom? You were doing it long before anyone in EPISD said “here is an active learning framework.” All teachers, at least the ones that I am aware of, for the most part do a mixture of active learning in their classrooms. There are very few lecture based classes anymore, from Kindergarten to university level.

      I leave you with this question: Do your students learn best by being actively engaged in learning or by being passively engaged?

      Like

      • ripper1951 says:

        Tim, active learning was done in my classroom and most of the CTE teachers long before EPISD. Demonstrate, do, have the students demonstrate, have the students do, then have the students demonstrate the next step. However, more often now you hear “Je ne veux pas entendre la question, donne moi la réponse.”.

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  4. ripper1951 says:

    http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Prince_AL.pdf
    A 2004 study and treatise, not refereed or peer reviewed, of college engineering students and faculty

    https://www.wired.com/2014/05/empzeal-active-learning/ A paid review in 2014 in wired.com announcing results that cannot be replicated in the reference article. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences research shows it was a proposed study, of college students in STEM courses. The full study is here -http://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410.full.pdf
    SAGE Journals reports these are not peer reviewed or refereed treatises or findings. And in fact quotes many articles in opposition. SAGE is a collection of refereed and peer reviewed research, sort of a clearinghouse scholars use to find previously published work.
    A reiew of the literature is nice, but fails to point out that the studies cited were at colleges, not K-12.
    Active learning is a buzzword coined by EPISD to describe a constructivist approach to learning, used in CTE courses to teach skills for career paths. Constructivism uses previous knowledge to build upon learning new concepts and skills. Very popular in boot camp, other military training, and in trade schools. It does work to a certain degree but not the way implemented by EPISD. And coupled with the new “GOTCHA” methods of teacher evaluations is designed to demoralize teachers, make administrators look good, and try to hold the line of education with a populace that is not concerned with self responsibility or critical thinking. Mix that in with the 1980’s concepts of making the students feel good about themselves (SEL), and you have a district in its death throes.

    Like

    • TBH says:

      Not to get into the weeds here Mike, but the first article, if you look at the very top of the link is from the Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 93, #3, pages 223-231, 2004. Had to have been reviewed to get into the Journal. From their website:
      “The Journal of Engineering Education is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on engineering education that is published by the American Society for Engineering Education. The editor-in-chief is Michael C. Loui (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign).

      Like

    • TBH says:

      Maybe this article from two days ago is more to your liking…Written by a teacher, in Florida who probably has never heard of the El Paso Ind School District: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/09/29/heres-a-great-way-to-get-kids-to-learn-unfortunately-too-many-schools-dont-do-it/?utm_term=.e11aeef249af

      Like

    • TBH says:

      Mike, “Active Learning” has been around and accepted as a viable pedagogy for decades. It is not an “EPISD Buzzword.” EPISD did not invent Active Learning. The Active Learning Framework is EPISD specific and describes the lesson cycle a teacher uses when using Active Learning in his or her classes.

      Here is some background on Active Learning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_learning

      Like

      • ripper1951 says:

        Really Tim? Wikipedia? And all the research you quoted was about college students who might have been self starters and motivated enough. Not K-12 who are still looking for the answer to be handed to them.

        Like

        • Anonymous says:

          Ripper, Wikipedia is the Encyclopedia for the uneducated who need to google whatever supports their claim like our friend TBH here. I am so glad that he’s at the helm of EPISD’s educational technology, with this type of education being provided to my children I won’t spend a dime in college tuition. They will be Wikipedia followers for life, that will get them through life right? Let’s pay Tim and Juan the crook a little more for their service.

          Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Tim, you are most definitely correct active learning is the way to go everyone should see how EPISD became the best performing school district in the region with this approach. Oh wait, EPISD is the worst performing school district in the region and the only major district in the region with unacceptable schools. All that active learning must be really paying off! Not for the students, but paying off for someone. I wonder who?

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  5. Tim Holt says:

    DOES ACTIVE LEARNING WORK:

    YES:http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Prince_AL.pdf

    YES: https://www.wired.com/2014/05/empzeal-active-learning/

    YES: NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410.full.pdf

    YES: CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    https://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/engaging-students/active-learning.html

    REVEW OF LITERATURE: YES:
    Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning really work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education. 93(3). 223-231.

    YES: GEORGE WASHINGTO UNIVERSITY
    Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom (ASHE–ERIC Higher Education Rep. No. 1). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development.

    Like

    • Dan Wever says:

      Yes Tim, look at all your data and then let’s try to apply it to EPISD. A non-educator superintendent who played an entrepreneur lawyer before he was hired as an Educational leader, came to the district and hired someone that could lead him in his job duties of educating our children. His consultant was deep into Educational Reform which includes Active Learning and Project Based Learning. A 5-year strategic plan was written up and the Superintendent then announced that the way the children of the EPISD were taught was going to change and the way the teachers teach was also going to change. So now we have over 60,000 students already in school and about 4,200 teachers all with 4-year college degrees and many with masters that they must learn all over how to teach the new Education Reform material and to forget about how they used to teach. How much training have they been given? Well, millions of dollars have been spent on companies that profess to know the answers to all things about education but I doubt if many of them have received as much training as many of the teachers in the above studies have received. In fact per the EPISD explanation as to the end result that the teachers of the EPISD will become facilitators when everything gets to going the way it is supposed to. I am sure they look forward to that.

      But let’s look at our own EPISD STAAR results Tim to see if you can still say YES it works. One of the most important grade level tests is the 3rd Grade Reading Test. Now, these 3rd graders have been in this district for all of their education and the Superintendent has been here 4 years. 3,843 3rd graders took the test and 1,011 or 26% of them FAILED. Of course, Texas and the EPISD do not use the word Failed but I do as it fits. The next group of test takers are the APPROACHES group. This catagory is where the state test designers had to place a bunch of students that did not MEET the level necessary to be counted as having learned enough to pass the next grade without 3rd grade level help plus as it is counted as passing it helps keep the parents off of district officials backs. This Approaches group can score between 53% and 74% and be counted as passing. So in plain English a 50% grade is failing and a 53% is passing. There were 1,121 or 29% students in the EPISD 3rd Grade Approaches group. So 2,132 third grade reading test takers or 55% did not MEET the required level.

      Is it working Tim?

      Like

      • Dan Wever says:

        Also, Tim, there are studies that tell us that if a student is not reading at the 3rd-grade level by the 3rd grade they will never catch up in rest of their time in K-12 schools.

        Like

        • TBH says:

          Dan,
          Funny how YOUR studies are valid, but the ones I cite are never valid. #cherrypicking

          Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Tim, that is because I get ones that are not sponsored by the Educational Reformers that tell us how great their stuff is without any valid data backup.

            Like

          • Chico says:

            I have to agree with Dan. Not sure lousy administration could execute this approach, even with evidence of its fidelity.

            Case in point, one of my friends had his child enrolled for five weeks in a high school, dual language class, even though the child had never previously taken dual language. Counselor had the audicity to insist that the parent sign a form confirming his child’s “poor performance” with half the instruction in a language he did not know.

            Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Chico, the Dual Language format is the district’s way to tackle the decades-old problem of the spread between Hispanic and White students. They cannot seem to lower the gap with bi-lingual education and various other gimmicks so they are going to dummy down the Whites with this Dual Language to accomplish their goal. 🙂

            Like

          • tickedofftaxpayer says:

            The funny thing about the dual language classes is that when I worked in Mexico I found a totally different approach. Our purchasing team was fully bilingual and management decided to have the new ERP system training done entirely in English because it cost less (the ERP system supplier was US based). The purchasing staff was failing the tests to determine if they understood the training. Our Managing Director, who was Mexican and a Stanford BSEE, MSEE and MBA, figured out the problem. Growing up in Chihuahua, he had chosen to study math and physics in English because he knew he would go to a US university. Even though Spanish was his native language, he found it very difficult to study complex subjects in any other language than the language he learned the core concepts in–he couldn’t study math or physics in Spanish. The purchasing team had learned their core concepts in Spanish. We switched the training to Spanish and everyone passed the tests. While this example justifies bilingual education in populations where complex core concepts are learned in Spanish, it also suggests that we may be doing a huge disservice to kids who have no interest in learning Spanish and may not live in this area when they grow up, because teaching them core concepts in Spanish may in fact lock them into learning in that language for the rest of their lives. And I’ve got to wonder how badly switching languages back and forth in students who aren’t fluent in both languages when teaching core concepts impacts a student’s future learning outcomes.

            Like

    • The Real World EP says:

      Tim,
      Anything the current administration says is new and innovative you go along with and tout its effectiveness. You did that with Dr. Garcia and you do it with this one. Ask yourself why you have to keep sending reminder emails so much for websites you want teachers to use and they don’t . Teachers see your emails and– delete. They know you are just the mouthpiece for the out-of-touch higher ups who haven’t set foot in a classroom in years. Talk to those in the front line once in a while. Teachers do have a wealth of knowledge.

      Like

      • TBH says:

        Haters gonna hate.

        Like

        • Dan Wever says:

          See Tim, you get someone that explains the truth to you and since you will not try to understand what someone is telling you, you revert back to the famous new defense of, if they don’t like me they must be Haters! Because you are good and pure and knowledgeable about all things especially if it ties in with your 100K plus position.

          Like

          • TBH says:

            haters gonna hate

            Like

          • TBH says:

            So here is the deal Dan, the personal screed against me by Real World EP (Who may or may not be in EPISD…hard to tell) was so full of misinformation that it hardly warrented a reply. On this particular blog site, if I personally do not reply in the affirmative to whatever is the EPISD attack de jour, I am attacked as being an out of touch central office administrator and a mouthpiece of EPISD. Has it ever occured that just because someone disagrees with a position you might have that they are not automatically incorrect? Isn’t that what civilized discourse is all about?

            If I personally respond in any way with anything contrary to the mob, I am attacked. So no matter what I put up, data that clearly contradicts your data, research that clearly contradicts your research, you or whomever attacks me calls me an out of touch mouthpiece. This happened on the old Paul Strelzin discussion board, it happens here. For instance, that response I posted at 11 am was while I was on an early lunch for that day. Excuse me. So I am wasting tax payer dollars while I ate my Arby’s Turkey sandwich combo #11. Sorry.

            Everyone can believe what they wish. I have come to conclusion that here, no one will change their mind, no matter what evidence is presented, because their minds are already made up. Thus the phrase “haters gonna hate.” I dont think “Haters gonna change their minds” would work here at all.

            Dan, you have been anti-EPISD administration for decades now, Nothing will change your mind. If you got every single thing you wanted, whatever that is, you would find something new to complain about the next day. That is just the way you are. Okay. You were anti EPISD administration on Strelzin’s board, you were anti EPISD administration while you were on the school board, you are anti EPISD administration here. I think we all get that. But just because you have a point of view doesnt mean that there is ONLY your point of view.

            I find it interesting however, that no one ever seems to have a single, solitary problem with any other school district in this city. YISD, SISD, CISD…all seem to be above reproach. Every reader seems to live in the boundaries or is employed by EPISD. Isnt that curious?

            Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Tim, as for the other school districts getting a free pass. If you are ice-fishing and catching a fish every 5 minutes why would you go down the lake and drill another hole?

            Like

  6. Chico says:

    Tim, err Deputy Dawg … we miss you. Where is your wisdom?

    Like

  7. mark maes says:

    differentiated instruction techniques have been used for years at canutillo district, the right way. not the episd failed way of active learning. arent the kids actively learning each day? plus kahn academy is used 30 minutes in the classroom each day. canutillo isd had way better staar scores than episd did. just sayin

    Like

    • Benevelous says:

      Do NOT confuse the EPISD with facts and reality!

      Only the [false] narrative of creating the “twenty first century learner” matters!

      New Techniques! [unproven]
      Bright Shiny New Computers! [We got the overly EXPENSIVE APPLE ones. WAY more expensive than Windows Machines and EXACTLY as effective and useful!]
      Iron Fisted Control of Teachers! [See—- New “Gothcha” evaluation methodology]
      Mega bucks spent to make the useless SEEM useful [see— Branding]

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree Marc and guess what Dr. Galaviz is not flying the world first class and passing crazy bonds to do his job the right way. Let see the results Canutillo ISD=Texas Honor roll district. El Paso ISD=worst scores in region 19. I wonder???

      Like

  8. abandon hope says:

    Interesting study. For those non-teachers like me who don’t know the terminology, active learning is defined as a process by which students use exploration and discovery to learn. In the traditional method, students learn by receiving information directly from the teacher.

    The study was done in geometry classes for around 4 months. The paper’s authors address the fact that teachers had to learn a new way to teach and that this affected the outcomes. Teachers trained in traditional methods surely find it challenging to switch to another methods with only 40 hours of training. And students who are used to the traditional methods of learning need adjustment time too. It may be that, given more time, students and teachers adjust to active learning.

    I think a combination of traditional and active methods might work. Traditional methods should lay the foundation, especially in mathematics. More advanced classes can use active learning.

    Does anyone know if teachers are trained in active learning at universities?

    Like

  9. anywherebutEPSID says:

    EPISD already invested in active learning regardless of the outcomes. It’s here to stay unfortunately.

    Like

    • Benevelous says:

      This is because, nothing the current Board and Administration of EPISD do is actually about educating our children. Only the political narrative matters.

      Oh, and the BRAND! That is so important, all of our students are going without hundreds of thousands of dollars of materials and support funding to pay for it!

      Sure hope they can at least make it prettier; because, a shovel full of poo still smells like a shovel full of poo…

      Like

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