ERIC Number: ED214243
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-23
Reference Count: 0
Improving Schools for Low Achieving Children: A System Dynamics Policy Study.
Clauset, Karl H., Jr.; Gaynor, Alan K.
To examine the problem of widening gaps in reading achievement between initially low-achieving children and other students as they move through elementary school, the authors first reviewed the literature on school effectiveness. Using a form of systems analysis called "system dynamics," they formulated a model and a set of hypotheses explaining the differences between effective and ineffective schools. Among the variables included are teacher skills and expectations, time factors, instructional intensity and appropriateness, principals' intervention and support, class size, feedback between reading achievement and teacher perceptions of a learning gap, and student behavior, motivation, and aptitude. A survey of educational practitioners' reactions led to adjustments in the model. The authors then constructed a mathematical computer simulation of the model, showing the flow of students through grades 1-6, to test the hypotheses and to evaluate four possible school improvement policies that involve changes in school characteristics, instructional intensity and appropriateness, or student behavior. Based on their results, the authors conclude that ineffective schools can be made effective by increasing teacher skills, raising teacher expectations, and maximizing instructional time. (Author/RW)
Descriptors: Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Education, Feedback, Hypothesis Testing, Instructional Improvement, Low Achievement, Models, Organizational Effectiveness, Reading Achievement, Student Behavior, Student Motivation, Systems Approach, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Skills, Time Factors (Learning)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Computer Simulation; School Effectiveness; Teacher Expectations
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982). For a related document, see ED 203 496.