Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Volume 11 | 1995 | Issue 3

What Research Suggests About Essential School Ideas: Looks at historical, sociological, statistical, and cognitive research that informed Essential school ideas and presents several key findings that support Essential school change. Download PDF

A Selected Research Bibliography

Bruer, John T., Schools for Thought: A Science of Learning in the Classroom. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993. Bryk, Anthony S. and Driscoll, M. E., The High School as Community: Contextual Influences, and Consequences for Students and Teachers. Madison: University of Wisconsin-Madison, National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, 1988. Bryk, A. S. et al., A View from the Elementary Schools:

Some Key Findings that Support Essential School Ideas

How personal the secondary school environment is matters more than any other single factor in encouraging students’ engagement and their willingness to work hard on academic goals. When teachers connect with and understand their students’ families, cultures, and life outside school, students achieve at higher levels. (McLaughlin 1993) At all achievement levels students prefer an active classroom role, and this

Student Achievement in Restructured Schools

[MISSING IMAGE] This figure represents the percent gain in student engagement and achievement for schools with different types of practces (compared to schools with traditional reform practices) in Lee and Smith’s 1994 longitudinal study, “High School Restructuring and Student Achievement.” It compares performance gains of students from eighth grade to tenth grade in traditionally restructured schools with student gains in

Three Kinds of Change that Schools Call Reform: Traditional, Moderate, and Restructuring Practices

Valerie Lee and Julia Smith’s 1994 study showed impressive gains in early secondary school students’ achievement when their schools departed significantly from conventional practice. Using the following criteria drawn from the University of Wisconsin’s Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools (and reprinted with WCER’s permission), they divided reform-minded schools into three categories based on what kinds of reforms they

What Does the Public Want? Essential Schooling, Perhaps

by Peter Huidekoper, the Gates Foundation What do parents want of their children’s schools? What does the public believe about our schools and how well they are doing? Is there a “disconnect,” as recent reports imply, between the answers to those questions and the reform efforts of the Coalition of Essential Schools? Or does that impression arise largely from poor

What Research Suggests About Essential School Ideas

Research of all sorts historical, sociological, and in cognitive science informs the ideas and guides the practices of Essential schools, and can now begin to examine their effectiveness in enhancing student understanding. MY PROBLEM WITH RESEARCH into education, aside from how hard it is to read, is that it so often seems to tell you what you already knew anyhow.