Sunday, June 12, 2011

December Babies Never Really Catch Up: Study

There is an interesting concept shared in a recent article from the Montreal Gazette, and it serves as a great reminder to me re: why (and how) we need to question our existing educational practices.

December babies never really catch up: study

In talking to kindergarten teachers over the years, concerns over the progress of early entrance students (in our district, you need to be 5 by December 31st) has been a common theme. The research in question identified the difference in graduation rates if December students achieved at the same rate as January students, claiming an additional 1700 BC students would graduate each year.

That is significant, as is the amount of money potentially saved if more students were to graduate on time. I wonder how many other practices common to our systems might be seen in a different light if we simply asked the question "What is the ultimate impact on graduation rates?".

Practicing critical inquiry is not just for teaching social studies, :), it has to be an essential leadership practice as well.

It is obvious we need to ensure we are making the most efficient and effective use of our limited resources. As I've shared earlier, Hattie's book Visible Learning is an excellent resource in this area, providing an easy to understand summary of research into student achievement. If we don't ask the critical questions about our practice, how can we intentionally make the changes that will allow us to maximize the use of our resources on impacting student learning?

My takeaway from reading this article in the Gazette: I am going to try reflect more on the assumptions I (and others) hold about our existing practice. I need to ask more questions, and find ways to spur others to reflect on a systemic scale as well. I think my copy of Hattie's meta-analysis might be in for some sticky notes....


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