ERIC Number: ED314548
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Better Schooling for the Children of Poverty: Alternatives to Conventional Wisdom. Study of Academic Instruction for Disadvantaged Students. Volume I: Summary.
Knapp, Michael S.; Turnbull, Brenda J.
This document summarizes the first report of the Study of Academic Instruction for Disadvantaged Students, a 3-year investigation of curriculum and instruction in elementary schools serving high concentrations of poor children. (The first report constitutes volume 2 of a projected series). Recent scholarship, theory, and experimentation in the classroom highlight flaws in the "conventional wisdom" that emphasizes the following approaches to teaching reading, writing, and mathematics to the economically disadvantaged: (1) remediation of the learners' deficits; (2) a curriculum broken down into discrete skills; (3) teacher-directed instruction; (4) a uniform approach to classroom management; and (5) the grouping of students by ability. Appropriately applied, the following alternatives show promise of improving conventional practice: (1) an emphasis on the knowledge students bring to school; (2) explicit teaching of how to function in the "culture" of the school; (3) early emphasis on appropriate "higher order" tasks; (4) extensive opportunities to learn and apply skills in context; (5) an emphasis on meaning and understanding in all academic instruction; (6) a combination of teacher-directed and learner-directed instruction; (7) variation in classroom management approaches depending on the kind of academic work being done; (8) some use of grouping arrangements that mix ability levels; and (9) more flexibility in grouping arrangements. A list of 39 references, a discussion of the larger study of which this is a part, and the table of contents of volume 2,"Commissioned Papers and Literature Review," are appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of Planning, Budget, and Evaluation.
Authoring Institution: SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.; Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.
Note: For volume 2, see UD 027 357.