Impacts Are Largest Among Students Who Were Lowest Achieving Prior to Participation
Newswise — Washington, October 24, 2023—Participating in policy debate programs in middle and high school is associated with improvements in English language arts (ELA) achievement and increases in the likelihood that students graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education, according to new research. The study was published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association. It was conducted by Beth Schueler from the University of Virginia and Katherine Larned from Harvard University.
Policy debate is an interscholastic, competitive, extracurricular activity in which teams of students engage in structured argumentation about public policy issues. Participants focus on a single resolution for the entire academic year, which requires them to learn about one policy area in depth.
Typically, extracurricular debate programs are disproportionately found in private and high-income public schools. However, this study was conducted in the context of the Boston Public Schools, where the Boston Debate League, a nonprofit, serves a student population that is majority low income and students of color.
The study relied on data from the Boston Debate League, Boston Public Schools, and the National Student Clearinghouse for students enrolled in Boston Public Schools during the 2007–08 to 2017–18 school years. It included the 3,515 students who participated in the Boston Debate League over that time.
“We found that debate was linked to improvements not only in overall ELA achievement but specifically in those ELA competencies requiring critical thinking skills,” said Schueler, assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. “The impact was almost entirely concentrated among reading subskills that involve more analysis and argumentation.”
The impacts were substantial, translating to roughly 68 percent of the learning in ELA that typically takes place over the course of the ninth-grade year. The gains were largest among students who were lowest performing at baseline, suggesting that policy debate does not need to be reserved for high-achieving students.
The authors also examined effects on high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment, finding positive impacts driven by increased enrollment in four-year colleges and universities.
“These results provide policymakers a rare promising program for reducing inequality in reading achievement, analytical thinking skills, and educational attainment among middle and high school students,” said Larned, a fellow and doctoral student in the education policy and program evaluation program at Harvard University. “Debate programs are cost-effective relative to other high-profile interventions and therefore have great potential for scalability.”
The authors pointed out that researchers have uncovered very few interventions that generate impacts of this magnitude for secondary school students, especially on literacy outcomes. School leaders looking to boost ELA outcomes could look to this type of extracurricular activity for supporting older students in learning.
“Policy debate appears to be a rare strategy for improving literacy skills among middle and high school students,” said Schueler. “It helps to demonstrate that secondary school is not ‘too late’ to support student progress in reading.”
There are likely implications for teachers working in traditional classrooms. Some professional development programs have been designed to help teachers infuse key principles of debate pedagogy into regular classrooms. The authors suggested that researchers should explore the effectiveness of these programs to help uncover the extent to which debate would generalize to students who do not opt for the extracurricular activity.
The authors also recommended that future research should examine the relative effectiveness of different extracurricular activities, as well as further assess policy debate’s impact on critical thinking, argumentation skills, and other competencies needed for academic and civic participation, such as social perspective taking, media literacy, ability to distinguish fact from opinion, and engagement with the policy process.
Study citation: Schueler, B., & Larned, K. (2023). Interscholastic policy debate promotes critical thinking and college-going: Evidence from Boston Public Schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Prepublished October 24, 2023. http://doi.org/10.3102/01623737231200234
Source: Mount Sinai Health System
George Magazine Introduces Children’s Magazine: George Junior
HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, USA /EINPresswire.com/ — GeorgeMagazine has recently launched their latest creation, a new children’s magazine focused on leadership, patriotism, and faith. The magazine is geared toward children ages 6 to 12 and features a thought-provoking theme each month. Its latest edition set to release today focuses on setting goals and creative ways to stick with them.
In this issue, readers can also look forward to:
1. Comic Book Style Stories: Read along as George Jr., his friend John, and his
sister Betsy, learn a lesson in setting goals, practicing, and staying patient.
2. Bible Stories: Each issue brings to life Bible stories, offering a kid-friendly
perspective on the teachings and morals found within these tales.
3. Branches of the Military: Children will learn the branches of the United
States Military and what each branch is responsible for.
4. Activities: Readers will learn how to create their very own snow globe as
well as how to make Garlic Toast Pizza.
5. Vocabulary: George Junior believes learning new words is important, and
each issue features a set of five words in the beginning of the magazine the
children will seek to find throughout the rest of the magazine.
6. Notable People: This issue features information about Nikola Tesla and the
inventions he created.
Parents can rest assured that George Junior magazine provides a safe and enriching environment for their children. The magazine’s focus is on providing quality content that is both educational and entertaining, allowing kids to explore the world around them while maintaining the innocence of childhood.
George Junior is available at georgejuniormagazine.com. Subscriptions are also available for added convenience and savings. The magazine is a monthly
subscription, allowing children to have something fun to look for in the mail.
With its dedication to fostering intellectual growth and character development, George Junior is the perfect gift for parents and grandparents looking to inspire children while keeping them engaged. Each issue is thoughtfully crafted to stimulate young minds and encourage them to dream, investigate, and thrive.
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Source: GEORGE Magazine
Brainingcamp and Savvas Learning Company Partner to Make Math More Visual and Hands-On
AUSTIN, Texas (Newswire.com) – Brainingcamp, a globally recognized provider of world-class digital math manipulatives, announced today that it is partnering with Savvas Learning Company to provide its premiere digital manipulatives for the Savvas K-8 math programs. The combined content will transform students’ grasp of abstract math concepts by making math visual and interactive.
Brainingcamp’s suite of digital math manipulatives will be included in the newest Savvas K-8 math programs: the award-winning enVision Mathematics © 2024 and the brand-new, student-centered Experience Math © 2025.
More than 7.5 million students and educators rely on Brainingcamp virtual manipulatives. With all the familiarity of their physical counterparts, Brainingcamp’s 17 manipulatives allow students to explore math concepts more deeply through its interactive and intuitive digital functionality.
“Embedding Brainingcamp digital manipulatives into Savvas content creates incredible visual and interactive learning,” said Dan Harris, Brainingcamp’s president and founder. “We admire Savvas as a longtime leader recognized for its innovative and exceptional curriculum. I know the teachers and students who use Savvas Learning Company’s high-quality math programs will love having Brainingcamp manipulatives at their fingertips to increase engagement and develop deep conceptual understanding.”
By partnering with Savvas, Brainingcamp will provide best-in-class digital manipulatives to the millions of students and educators using the Savvas K-8 math solutions. Additionally, with Brainingcamp LIVE, teachers can host a screen-sharing session with their class for real-time instruction and instant feedback on student progress.
“Math manipulatives are an integral part of an active learning classroom. They combine visual and hands-on learning to help students develop critical problem-solving skills,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “By partnering with Brainingcamp, Savvas is offering best-in-class interactive math manipulatives for use with our evidence-based, K-8 math solutions. This combination offers educators the instructional flexibility and accessibility they need to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed.”
To learn more about Brainingcamp, visit www.brainingcamp.com.
Brainingcamp is a globally recognized provider of world-class digital math manipulatives. Through their versatile manipulatives, Brainingcamp is creating a world where students can deepen conceptual understanding through hands-on and visual learning. Brainingcamp’s mission is to bring math to life. More than 7.5 million educators and students trust Brainingcamp worldwide. For more information, visit Brainingcamp.
ABOUT SAVVAS LEARNING COMPANY
At Savvas, we believe learning should inspire. By combining new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new ways of interacting, we design engaging, next-generation K-12 learning solutions that give all students the best opportunity to succeed. Our award-winning, high-quality instructional materials span every grade level and discipline, from evidence-based, standards-aligned core curricula to supplemental and intervention programs to state-of-the art assessment tools — all designed to meet the needs of every learner. Savvas products are used by millions of students and educators in more than 90 percent of the 13,000+ public school districts across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as globally in more than 125 countries. To learn more, visit Savvas Learning Company. Savvas Learning Company’s products are also available for sale in Canada through its subsidiary, Rubicon.
Exploring Study Abroad: Opportunities for High School Students
Discover exciting study abroad opportunities for high school students. Expand horizons, foster intercultural understanding, and create lifelong connections through international exchange programs.
In an increasingly interconnected world, fostering intercultural understanding is crucial. That’s where ASSE, a non-profit public benefit organization, comes in. Dedicated to promoting closer ties of friendship between the United States and other countries, ASSE offers an enriching opportunity for high school students aged 15 to 18 through their youth exchange programs.
ASSE’s selection process is based on academic performance, character references, and a genuine desire to experience life abroad. Students have the freedom to choose their host country, irrespective of prior language knowledge. Scholarships are available, considering academic performance, leadership skills, and financial need.
The program ensures that families abroad are carefully screened, providing a safe and nurturing environment for students. Although language proficiency is not a requirement before departure, students acquire language skills through immersion in the local culture and attending regular high school classes alongside their new teenage friends.
Moreover, ASSE offers American families a chance to host international students from various countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Thailand, and Japan. Hosting an ASSE student provides an invaluable cross-cultural experience, as the students actively participate in the host family’s daily activities and attend a local American high school for an academic year or semester.
ASSE International Student Exchange Programs create opportunities for personal growth, lifelong friendships, and a deeper appreciation for diverse cultures. Join ASSE today and embark on a transformative journey of intercultural exchange.
Source: ASSE International Student Exchange Programs
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