Overview[ edit ] Critical theory German:
National Center on Response to Intervention This is the first article in a three-part series. In this three-part series, we present an overview of the issues most relevant to the development and implementation of Response to Intervention RtI models in contemporary urban schools.
This first article focuses on describing the broad challenges faced by and within urban school systems in effectively educating students. These issues, we contend, should be well considered—and addressed when possible—prior to implementing an RtI framework.
The second article in the series focuses on how RtI frameworks in urban schools should be designed to consider the cultural dimensions of racialization and linguistic hegemony that limit equitable opportunities to learn.
The third article seeks to present promising examples of how RTI practices that consider cultural dimensions operate in urban schools. As such, it is designed as a model for the prevention of long-term academic failure and thus, is a potentially powerful tool for addressing the needs of all students in all contexts.
Urban School Challenges It is important to note that the challenges facing urban school systems are not entirely unique to metropolitan areas, nor are all urban school systems confronted with the same challenges. Urban schools do, however, share some unique physical and demographic characteristics that differentiate them from suburban and rural school districts.
Unlike suburban and rural school districts, urban school districts operate in densely populated areas serving significantly more students. In comparison to suburban and rural districts, urban school districts are frequently marked by higher concentrations of poverty, greater racial and ethnic diversity, larger concentrations of immigrant populations and linguistic diversity, and more frequent rates of student mobility Kincheloe, While sociodemographics are not themselves the challenge of urban Critical thinking challenges for high school systems, they speak to the broader social and economic inequities facing such populations that invariably frame the work of urban schools.
As Orfield explained, segregation and poverty underlie grander issues in urban education systems: It is wrong to assume that segregation is irrelevant, and policies that ignore that fact simply punish the victims of segregation because they fail to take into account many of the causes of the inequality…Current policy built on [this assumption] cannot produce the desired results and may even compound the existing inequalities.
The challenges of urban education cannot be divorced from its sociodemographic context. Stuctural Challenges Urban school systems tend to have specific structural challenges that impede their ability to effectively educate the most vulnerable students.
While these structural challenges may be evidenced across all types of educational contexts, they are perhaps most potent in urban settings. They include 1 persistently low student achievement, 2 a lack of instructional coherence, 3 inexperienced teaching staff, 4 poorly functioning business operations, and 5 low expectations of students Kincheloe,; MDRC, We discuss each briefly below and provide suggestions for addressing these structural challenges.
Low Student AchievementEven in the midst of tremendous political attention, low student performance persists.
This is often exemplified by a large number of students performing poorly on achievement tests and not performing at grade level, as well as high rates of high school noncompletion and special education classification.
The vast majority of students want to succeed in school and view school as important to being successful in life, but structural barriers both inside and outside school often stand in the way of the realization of this Theoharis, A Lack of Instructional CoherenceUrban schools are bombarded with so many instructional initiatives and approaches that they can become fragmented, or indeed contradict one another.
Moreover, urban school initiatives should be carefully chosen, with attention paid to what is already being implemented within the school district. Urban school initiatives should utilize expertise within the schools for coaching and program building so that institutional knowledge can be passed on to new and novice teachers who have perhaps the greatest need for professional learning supports.
Inexperienced Teaching StaffThe issue of teacher quality is considered central to growing efforts to understand and reduce performance gaps in achievement between students of color and their White and Asian peers Ferguson, Students in schools with high concentrations of low-income Black and Latino students are more likely to have inexperienced or unqualified teachers, fewer demanding college preparatory courses, more remedial courses, and higher teacher turnover Lee, Aside from the school building itself, teachers are perhaps the most visible school resource.
Extensive research has demonstrated that teachers have a significant impact on student achievement e. Teachers become more effective the longer they teach. In his review of teacher research, Goldhaber highlighted studies that consistently demonstrate teachers becoming increasingly more effective in the first 3 to 5 years of teaching.
Thus, it can be inferred that teachers with fewer than 3 years of teaching experience are less effective than those with 3 or more years of teaching experience. Experienced teachers, however, are not equally distributed across low- and high-poverty schools. Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, and Wyckoff demonstrated that teachers are drawn to schools with low concentrations of poverty, low minority populations, and high levels of student achievement, thus framing the problem of teacher quality as one related to professional mobility.
Teachers who perform better on the general knowledge certification exam are significantly more likely to leave schools having the lowest achieving students, leading to high teacher turnover rates in lower performing schools. This high turnover rate makes it harder for low-performing schools to build an experienced teaching core, thus creating an unequal distribution of experienced teachers.
To address the needs of struggling learners, urban school districts need to consider their teachers as valuable and strategic resources and systemically assign academically underperforming students to effective teachers.
Urban school districts tend to have ineffective or underutilized data management systems MDRC,making it difficult for them to identify student needs and monitor student progress. While much of the budgetary and resource challenges are deeply embedded in other political and economic factors outside the reach of a school system, urban school districts need to develop data systems and promote their use in critical analysis and examination of their own practices.
This entails a commitment to data analysis as a continuous process, with clearly stated questions or problem statements, a readiness to question assumptions, and the capacity to go beyond the numbers Reeves, As such, data analysis can occur at the district level with improved data collection and monitoring systems.
With improved systems, data analysis can also be implemented at the school level with data walks, inquiry groups, and critical friends groups.Dartmouth Writing Program support materials - including development of argument. Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing.
Mind Mirror Projects: A Tool for Integrating Critical Thinking into the English Language Classroom (), by Tully, in English Teaching Forum, State Department, Number 1 Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project, Metropolitan Community College.
Teaching critical thinking in the classroom has been a hot topic in education for decades, with new innovation and experimental ideas being pushed into schools. See Also: 10 Team-Building Games To Promote Critical Thinking Aimee Hosler is a writer and mother of two living in Virginia.
She specializes in a number of topics, but is particularly passionate about education and workplace news and trends. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fairminded critical thinking--thinking which embodies intellectual empathy, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, intellectual integrity and intellectual responsibility.
Fourways High School strives to maximise every learner’s potential in order that they may serve society and experience personal fulfilment through the development of their unique talents and abilities.
Critical thinking is simply reasoning out whether a claim is true, partly true, sometimes true, or false. Logic is applied by the critical thinker to understand character, motivation, point of view and expression.