ERIC Number: EJ762421
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Can Technology Narrow the Black-White Achievement Gap?
Beglau, Monica M.
T.H.E. Journal, v32 n12 p13-17 Jul 2005
The author begins this article by relating the experiences of her fourth-grade students who had just completed an intensive four-week project that involved crafting arguments to convince their local school board to allow a field trip to the Missouri state capitol so they could explore their state's government in person and in depth. Just one year before, a majority of these fourth-grade students had been performing at the lowest measured ("basic") level in their communication skills on the state test administered to third-graders. Some observers attributed this performance to the "Black/African American" oval filled in by the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) facilitator on each child's state test cover sheet. Yet this same group demonstrated remarkable gains on their fourth-grade standardized test results. Not only did they improve their test results, but these once "basic" students were now confidently preparing PowerPoint presentations and accompanying letters to persuade district administrators and the school board that the class was ready, both financially and educationally, for their proposed field trip. To a large degree, the changes in these students can be credited to the eMINTS (enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies; www.emints.org) program, a collaborative educational program that uses technology to make a difference for children. The program is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the University of Missouri's Office of Academic Affairs, and focuses on the expectation that all students can reach higher levels of performance. It includes mechanisms for increasing quality parental involvement, and provides teachers with the professional development and in-class coaching needed to accomplish significant changes in their teaching practices. This article discusses how the eMINTS instructional model of inquiry-based teaching, combined with multimedia tools in the classroom, improves test scores for all students.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Test Results, Teaching Methods, Elementary School Students, Boards of Education, Standardized Tests, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, Field Trips, Communication Skills, Inquiry, Multimedia Instruction, Scores, African American Students, White Students, Educational Technology, Technology Integration, Grade 4, Elementary School Teachers, Faculty Development, State Government, Teacher Improvement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri