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Implementing Strategies to Get Student Gains
In the work that I’ve engaged in over the last, you know, three, four decades, depending on how you might want to count … and my colleagues … we’ve always tried to work from research to our own evidence, and to document the impact of what we’re doing on student achievements. So, I can pretty confidently say that our recommendations are backed up by … both by other peoples’ research and our specific research. And to be very focused in terms of resources that are available to you—just on our website, the Marzano Research Lab, we have a database of 400 … at least 400 studies that we’ve done across the country with teachers in classrooms on very, very specific strategies within the model to demonstrate the effect on student achievement. Real specifically, we can identify… we try to identify the effect size for each one of those studies. And the effect size translates… you can translate that into what type of percentile gain would you expect to see, you know, if you use this particular strategy. So, if you look at the website, you’ll see, you know, a number of reports that report those gains for very specific strategies. In general, I can tell you this, that if you aggregate, you know, all of those studies, what you find is that, on the average, you can get anywhere from, you know, 15 to 20 percentile point gain. However, if you make sure you do the strategy well – and the way you do that is to focus on it, identify your strengths and weaknesses and, you know, use it over time and track your own progress as a teacher – those percentile gains can be even higher than that. I also have to caution that just to use the strategy does not necessarily mean you’re having an impact on the students. Across the board, when we’ve done our studies – other people have found the same things – that just using the strategy might not necessarily, you know, improve student achievement. If you use it in the wrong context or you use it inappropriately, you might actually decrease your effectiveness. So, it’s not just having the list of strategies to try, it’s being sure you know how to use them appropriately and that comes with practice over time. And given that, given that, I can confidently say that every teacher can get better, you know, pedagogically and have a positive impact, in some cases a dramatic impact, on student achievement.