Welcome! Until we begin, please help yourself to refreshments! The Impact of Organizational Structures on Classroom Learning by Summer Northern Lindsey Jeo Steven Aldaz Alena Ababon Seminar Time Schedule 3:30-3:40: Welcome and Refreshments (10 min) 3:40-3:45: Self-Contained (5 min) 3:45-3:50: Departmentalization (5 min) 3:50-4:00 Small group discussion (15 min) 4:00-4:05: Looping (5 min) 4:05-4:10: Multi-Age (5 min) 4:10-4:20: Small group discussion (10 min) 4:20-4:40: Large group discussion (15 min) 4:40-4:50: Evaluation (10 min) Goals of the Seminar ★ Participants will be able to recommend a “research based” organizational structure for a particular grade level. ★ Participants will be able to justify their recommendation with key research. ★ Participants will contribute meaningfully to the seminar. Overarching Seminar Question Is there one organizational structure that best promotes student learning? Population distributions? Is it possible for different organizational structures to co-exist in the same classroom/for same grade? Should the preparations for teachers change depending on the organizational structure used? Organizational Structures ★ Self-contained ★ Departmentalization ★ Looping ★ Multi-age classrooms Self-Contained Classrooms • A self-contained classroom is defined as one teacher teaching all the subjects in one classroom o Traditionally used in elementary schools o Teachers are generalists Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts • • • • • • Benefits of Self-Contained Class Produces a coordinated curriculum (Culyer, 1984) No rotation o “Rotation is more likely to disrupt the younger than the older child’s development because,..., the barriers to learning are mainly in the child not in the difficulty of the subjects studied” (Elkind, 1988) No time wasted on transition (Culyer, 1984) Greater teacher acquaintance (Ackerlund) Avoids necessity of child having to adjust to more than one teacher (Ackerlund) Younger students benefit from stability and continuity (Hood) Disadvantages of Self-Contained Class • • Typical elementary school teacher is a jack of all subjects and the master of none (Tanner, 1960) o Several researchers confirm the need for teachers to understand the subject matter they teach (Ponder) Flexibility allows for teacher to skip subjects o If a teacher lacks confidence in a subject, they tend to skip it o Science is taught for about 16 minutes a day in most kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms (Teicher, 2005) Research on Self-Contained Class • In a study of 5th and 6th graders, students in self-contained classes experienced significant gains in language and science (McGrath and Rust, 2002) • o No differences in reading math, social studies In a study of 4th and 5th graders, 4th grade students in self-contained classes achieved better on social studies (Bowser, 1984) • o No differences in science for 4th graders, no significant difference in 5th graders In a study of 6th graders, students in self-contained classes performed higher in reading, math, and science (Garrigan, 1992) • o No difference in social studies “Statistical studies of the effectiveness of departmentalization and the self-contained classroom often report findings that are contradictory and • • There’s no consensus in regard to organizational structures best for upper elementary (Ponder) No evidence that adjustment to different teaching personalities simultaneously is harmful to children (Ackerlund) Departmentalization The process of grouping subjects into departments. ★ Students receive instruction from several different teachers, each specializing in a different subject Benefits of Departmentalization Easy transition from middle school to high school. Improves interpersonal skills More thorough Research Study 1-GPS GEORGIA PERFORMANCE STANDARDS ➔ Departmentalized 843.36 ➔ Traditional 837.73 Study 2-“Fourth grade earned all five points on the state proficiency test after two years of departmentalization.”(Canady & Retting 1995) Disadvantages of Departmentalization • What makes a good teacher? • Lack of nurturing • Difficult communication • Many hours of organization occur when beginning departmentalization TIME “Our third grade team spent several days developing consistent rules, discipline procedures and organizational strategies.” (A. Rosser October 7, 2004). “Specializing in one subject area is a more efficient use of time” “Alternative schedules may not add hours to the school day, but they can vastly improve the quality of the time students spend at school.”(Canady & Retting 1995) Research Study 1-Results indicated a slightly lower mean number of books read and far less variation among classes in the number of books read.(Lamme, Elementary School Journal) Study 2-Departmentalization improves the quality of instruction in specialized subject matter at a cost to student-teacher relations. DISCUSSION TIME Will departmentalization of curricular areas reduce stress on teachers as they prepare their lessons? Will departmentalization enable teachers to create more meaningful and engaging lessons for students? Will departmentalization provide teachers with more time to assess student work? Do you think teachers need an education degree if they are departmentalized? Should todays teachers have more content knowledge? Do you think today's teachers are prepared for this particular organizational structure? Do you see these learning structures outside of the classroom? Jack of all trades, Master of none….How does this affect how the student Looping “You can’t make a student learn you have to get to know how they learn, how they retain information, what motivates them.” ● Endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education as early as 1913 referred to as a form of classroom organization in which a teacher spends two or three years with the same group of students. ● Implemented the most in elementary school, but is seen in middle school and rarely in high school. ● Looping is a structure not a program. (Char Forsten) ● Preparing the teachers adequately for their “new” curriculum yields the best results. Benefits of Looping ● More personalized and individualized learning and instruction (Berlin 1996, Burke, 1996) ● A better understanding of students learning abilities and needs (especially beneficial for students who have challenges in the classroom) (Berlin, 1996, Grant, 1996) ● Continuity in an academic program ● Strong relationships with students, parents, and families (Pecanic 2003) ● Higher test scores (Kelley, Carothers, 2004) ● A sense of familiarity and connection (helps with transition) (Pecanic, 2003) ● Possibilities for summertime learning (Hanson, 1995) ● Long term relationships result in an emotional and intellectual climate that encourages thinking, risk-taking, and involvement. (Marzano, 1992) Disadvantages of Looping ● A teacher has to have familiarity with more than one grade’s materials and methods for teaching it ● Class management could be disrupted and challenging because of students knowing each other too well (would also impede learning) ● Poor match with students ● No exposure to different classroom environments, instructional methods, or other students ● Students adapt to less change (Hoffman) Research ● A lot of benefits and disadvantages resulting from studies in different grade levels and classroom environments. ● However, it has been tried in Colorado, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts, to name a few. ○ Some positive results, some negative, some inconclusive. ■ Data from a seven year period from a school district that loops 1st-8th grades in Massachusetts: student attendance increased daily from 92% to 97%, discipline and suspensions declined significantly, retention rates decreased by more than 43% ■ Looping referred to as “the gift of time” (Elliott and Capp, 2003; Mazzuchi and Brooks, 1992) ■ Snoke (2007) What are Multi-age Classrooms? • • Based on Piaget, Montessori, Burner where students of different age, maturity level, or grade are all in a single classroom o can be used in pre-school all through high school to differing degree o can be used in part with self-contained, looped, or departmentalized classesb What kind of benefits do multi-age classrooms create? ● classrooms become more of a family ○ Younger learn from and emulate older (Adams, 1997) ○ older learn to support and lead the younger • attitudes toward school improve- especially in low SES students (Gorrell, 1998) • Social development is developed and strong friendships are formed • Students make largest gains in vocabulary and verbal simulations (Prat, 1986) o “assistance most often flows from the more competent to the less competent...but influence is inevitably reciprocal and shared” Tharp (89) • • • • What are some of the disadvantages of this method? no academic benefit “Simply no worse, and simply no better, than single grade or single age classroom” Veenman most often used with special needs students or- only the most high-achieving (TangenFoster, 1998) requires the teacher to differentiate more this is tiring, and difficult (Kobelin; Adams 1997) Research • • • More natural socialization and formations of friendships (Pratt, 1986) In 18 different studies of low SES students in Chicago and Milwaukee schools found lower aggression o “live together for two or more years and are familiar with each other...an atmosphere of shared responsibility for classroom order” (McClellan, 1997) Four studies in early ‘90s show academic gains o “children think more, learn more, remember more, take greater pleasure in learning, spend more time on task, and are more productive in classes that emphasize learning in well-implemented cooperative groups rather than in DISCUSSION TIME • • • • Do looping and multi-age have their benefits? Are the social benefits provided by looping and multi-age classrooms enough incentive to choose them over Self-contained and Departmentalized? Even though the academic benefits are negligible? Which,in your opinion, is most important? Academics or social? Which organizational structure best promotes student learning? Each group please pick one structure of learning that we discussed today that best promotes student learning? Is there one organizational structure that best promotes student learning? Population distributions? Is it possible for different organizational structures to co-exist in the same classroom/for same grade? Should the preparations for teachers change depending on the organizational structure used?