Proven Programs in Education: Classroom Management & Assessment


Edited by: Robert E. Slavin

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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  • Titles in the Proven Programs in Education Series

    Classroom Management and Assessment

    Literacy (coming in 2015)

    Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM)

    Social and Emotional Health (coming in 2015)


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    It is only fitting that the articles contained in this anthology are updated from a previous publication called Better since you will not find a better treatment of two timely topics in education: classroom management and assessment. Credentialed academicians from around the world share their research-based findings in a plethora of twenty-seven brief but informative articles.

    If teachers wait until they have planned their lessons to determine how they will assess their students, then they have waited too long. The assessment articles in this book go a long way toward answering the question How do we know they are learning? The first part shares best practices for making assessment results count. The articles begin with the importance of both pre-assessment and formative assessment to determine what students should know, understand, and be able to do (KUD). Other chapters delineate specific ways that teachers can check for understanding and the importance of feedback in the entire process as well as the need for multiple measures of assessment, including self-assessment. One article questions the merit of interim assessments since their use does not appear to be research based. Another questions something I have always wondered—whether the overemphasis on standardized testing is actually at odds with the reason students should be coming to school in the first place: more meaningful learning.

    Classroom management is not everything, but it makes everything else possible! This statement is validated in the second half of this book. One very practical article espouses that the best defense against classroom management problems is an engaging lesson. Another gives specific ways to structure an effective learning environment so that many behavior problems are avoided. Such research-based programs as Classroom Organization and Management Program (COMP) at Vanderbilt University, Consistency Management & Cooperative Discipline (CMCD) from the University of Houston, Check & Connect from the University of Minnesota, and applied behavioral analysis (ABA) from Temple University are delineated. Another chapter relates the need for both pre-service and in-service teacher preparation programs if teachers are to become competent while yet another finds the solution to classroom management concerns in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

    In my more than forty years in education, where more than twenty-five of those years involved teaching teachers and administrators, I have come to one conclusion. Educators need and want two things. First, they need to know what research-based practices truly work for students. The articles in this book contain a plethora of this type of information. Second, educators want to definitively know how to practically apply the research in a school or classroom come Monday morning. Other articles in the book address just that. When some of the most renowned and respected research-based educators in the world share their best thinking in one resource, that resource should definitely become a part of every educator's professional library. I will certainly add it to mine!

    Marcia L.Tate, Educational Consultant Developing Minds, Inc.


    In 2009 a new journal was launched by the Center for Research and Reform in Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education and the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York in the United Kingdom. Called Better: Evidence-Based Education, this unique publication aims to get the latest education research into the hands of the people who need it, particularly teachers, administrators, and policy makers.

    Each issue of the journal features accessible articles written by leading international academics, all of which are rooted in what really works in the classroom. The articles that have been published in Better form an invaluable anthology of the latest developments in evidence-based education, and so we decided to bring them together in a series of themed books. This book comprises articles on the subject of classroom management and assessment, all reviewed by the original authors and, where necessary, updated. We hope you find it useful.


    How can teachers create classroom environments in which students are productively engaged at all times? Classrooms in which time is effectively used? In which activities are structured to maximize motivation and deep learning? In which behavioral disruptions are mostly prevented and responded to effectively if they do occur?

    How can teachers assess student learning—both formatively during instruction and summatively at the end of a lesson or unit? How can they use innovative approaches to assessment to encourage learning behaviors that go beyond lower-level skills and facts? How can assessment be embedded in tasks so that teachers and students constantly learn how students are progressing toward class objectives and standards?

    These and many other questions about classroom management and assessment are at the core of effective teaching. These are two of the issues that teachers worry most about, and there are dozens of books on each. What is distinctive about this one?

    The answer is that in this volume, respected researchers have written about what works in classroom management and assessment. That is, they are not writing uninformed ideas about how classrooms could be managed and learning assessed but are writing about strategies that have been put to the test in real classrooms and found to improve learning and behavior.

    In education today, evidence of effectiveness is becoming increasingly important. Educational leaders don't just want to know what's “in;” they want to know what works. Ideally, what this means is that innovative practices or programs have been tested in experiments, in which some number of teachers use the new practices while others continue with their usual practices. All students are tested before and after the experiment. If the classes using the new methods show greater gains, this is good evidence that the practice is effective. If many such studies find similar impacts, the body of evidence grows, and educators can have increasing confidence that the practice is likely to be beneficial in their classrooms, too.

    The classroom management and assessment methods described in this book have been proven to work, sometimes in dozens of studies collectively involving hundreds of teachers. Because different researchers use different methods, and because science progresses over time, not all of the chapters agree with each other. However, basic principles of effective practice in classroom management and assessment have been supported many times and appear across many individual chapters.

    The chapters in this book are updates of articles that first appeared in a journal called Better: Evidence-Based Education. Better is produced three times a year in a collaboration between the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York, in England, and the Center for Research and Reform in Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Each issue is on a particular topic, and top researchers on that topic are invited to submit articles intended to translate their own research or reviews of their field into language that is accessible to practicing educators and educational leaders. Authors were asked to include compelling classroom examples to make their findings clear and pragmatic. We did not want authors to hold back on the richness of their ideas but just to express them in a nonacademic way.

    As editor-in-chief of Better, I have the job of inviting researchers to submit articles. These are very busy, productive, and sought-after people, yet they hardly ever refuse. In fact, I think most authors are delighted to have a place to explain to educators the meaning of what they have spent their professional lives trying to learn about. These are people who care deeply about teaching, teachers, and learning, not just about theory. I think that's why they have been delighted to set aside their usual academic work for a while to write for the professionals on the front lines.

    This book is the product of the talents of many people. I'd like to thank all of the researchers who have contributed to Better: to Jonathan Haslam, Jeannette Bollen-McCarthy, and Bette Chambers at the University of York; to Beth Comstock at Johns Hopkins University; and to Arnis Burvikovs at Corwin.

    Funding for Better and for the creation of this book was provided by the Bowland Charitable Trust, whose trustee, Tony Cann, is never satisfied until research makes a difference in the lives of children. This is a value shared by everyone involved in this enterprise.


    About the Editor

    Robert E. Slavin is the director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education; a professor in the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York; and the driving force behind the Success for All Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development, evaluation, and dissemination of research-proven reform models for preschool, elementary, middle, and high schools—especially those serving many children considered at risk.

  • CORWIN: A SAGE Company

    The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK–12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”

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