Education Research Paper Examples

Education Research Paper Examples. The collection provides undergraduate majors and those currently in education an authoritative research paper examples source that will serve their research needs with more information than short essays. Thorough and comprehensive, this collection offers students a general understanding of the issues of utmost importance in education nowadays. The collection of research papers is a combination of historical reviews, current debates, and pending issues of concern at the classroom, state, and federal levels, with sections devoted to students, their teachers, professional staff, the educational context of curriculum and learning, and current and future issues.

Performance Assessment Research Paper

This sample Performance Assessment Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. This research-paper begins with an introduction to performance assessments. Performance assessments mirror the performance that is of interest, require students to construct or perform an original response, and use predetermined criteria to evaluate students’ work. The different uses of performance assessments will then be discussed, including the use of performance assessments in large-scale testing as a vehicle for educational reform and for making important decisions about individual students, schools, or systems and the use of performance assessments by classroom teachers as an instructional tool. Following this, there is a discussion on the nature of performance assessments as well as topics related to the design of performance assessments and associated scoring methods. The research-paper ends with a discussion on how to ensure the appropriateness and validity of the inferences we draw from performance assessment results. Introduction Educational reform in the 1980s was based on research suggesting that too many students knew how to repeat facts and concepts, but were unable to apply those facts and concepts to solve meaningful problems. Because assessment plays an integral role in instruction, it was not only instruction that was the target of change but also assessment. Proponents of the educational reform argued that assessments needed to better reflect students’ competencies in applying their knowledge and skills to solve real tasks. Advances in the 1980s in the study of both student cognition and measurement also prompted individuals to think differently about how students process and reason with information and, as a result, how assessments can be designed to capture meaningful aspects of students’ thinking and learning. Additionally, advocates of curriculum reform considered performance assessments a valuable tool for educational reform in that they were considered to be useful vehicles to initiate changes in instruction and student learning. It was assumed that if large-scale assessments incorporated performance assessments it would signal important goals for educators and students to pursue. Performance assessments are well-suited to measuring students’ problem-solving and reasoning skills and the ability to apply knowledge to solve meaningful problems. Performance assessments are intended to “emulate the context or conditions in which the intended knowledge or skills are actually applied” (American Educational Research Association, [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999, p. 137). The unique characteristic of a performance assessment is the close similarity between the performance on the assessment and the performance that is of interest (Kane, Crooks, & Cohen, 1999). Consequently, performance assessments provide more direct measures of student achievement and learning than multiple-choice tests (Frederiksen & Collins, 1989). Direct assessments of writing that require students to write persuasive letters to the local newspaper or the school board […]

Curriculum-Based Assessment Research Paper

This sample Curriculum-Based Assessment Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Monitoring student progress is an important form of classroom assessment. Teachers use progress monitoring for two purposes. The first purpose is to determine whether a student’s academic development within an academic year is proceeding well. Second, when a student is not progressing adequately, teachers use progress monitoring to design an individualized instructional program that promotes better academic growth. The form of progress monitoring with the strongest scientific evidentiary base is curriculum-based measurement. A large body of research shows that curriculum-based measurement produces accurate descriptions of student development in reading and math. Moreover, formal school-based experiments (where teachers are randomly assigned to plan instruction with and without curriculum-based measurement) demonstrate that when teachers use curriculum-based measurement to inform their instructional decision making, their students achieve better. Curriculum-based measurement is therefore relevant to discussions about education in the 21st century, when the focus on improving student outcomes dominates education reform. In this research-paper, we briefly explain the conventional approach to progress monitoring, known as mastery measurement. Then, we introduce best practice in progress monitoring, in the form of curriculum-based measurement. We explain how curriculum-based measurement differs from mastery measurement and provide an overview of curriculum-based measurement. Then we describe curriculum-based measurement in reading and in math; we explain guidelines for using curriculum-based measurement to make instructional decisions; we note how computer applications are designed to make curriculum-based measurement easier for teachers to use; and we explain how progress monitoring generally and curriculum-based measurement in particular are an important component in the education reform known as responsiveness to intervention. Finally, we discuss future directions and provide a summary of this research-paper. Mastery Measurement: The Conventional Approach to Progress Monitoring Thirty years ago, the dominant approach to progress monitoring was mastery measurement. With mastery measurement, the teacher specifies a hierarchy of instructional objectives that constitute the annual curriculum. For each objective in the sequence, the teacher devises a test. The goal is to use this test to assess student mastery of the skill. When a student achieves mastery, the teacher simultaneously shifts instruction and assessment to the next skill in the hierarchy. In this way, learning is conceptualized as a series of short-term accomplishments that are believed to accumulate into broader competence. This form of progress monitoring is reflected in most basal reading and math programs. Also, years ago, it was popularized with the Wisconsin Instructional Design System (see http://www.wids.org) and Precision Teaching (e.g., http://www.celeration.org). At about that same time, Stanley Deno at the University of Minnesota launched a systematic program of research on the technical features, logistical challenges, and instructional effectiveness of progress monitoring. The initial focus of that research program was mastery […]

Portfolio Assessment Research Paper

This sample Portfolio Assessment Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Portfolios have been around for a long time, showcasing the work of artists for example. In education, however, discontent with standardized tests and other traditional assessment measures led to experimentation with their use for assessing student achievement in school classrooms. Although this movement was brewing for a while, it took off in the mid-1980s. Shortly thereafter, experimentation with portfolios spread to large-scale assessment purposes tied to school reform efforts. This usage peaked in the early to mid-1990s, and then waned as the current accountability movement grew. There are many definitions of portfolios. One that has become somewhat standard is the definition developed around 1990 by the Northwest Evaluation Association. A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work (both purpose and clear criteria for quality work should be stated) that includes student involvement in its construction and student reflection on its contents (Arter & Spandel, 1992). This definition distinguished portfolios, as this research-paper will use the term, from weekly folders or other collections of children’s work that teachers or parents have always saved from refrigerator door displays and the like. Portfolio assessment requires intentional student reflection. That reflection should be at least implicit in the selection of work. Preferably, reflection should be explicit, with reflection tags, work logs, or essays included in the collection. The underlying purpose of portfolios is to make meaning from evidence. The power of the method lies in the presence of student work for review. Assessment of the quality of student work is right there next to the evidence, making for a fuller, richer description than a score or grade noted in a spreadsheet. In addition, students are more involved in interpreting the evidence of their own progress in portfolio assessment than in testing, or even in teacher-graded performance assessment. Portfolio assessment can be very learner-centered. Although various authors have developed many categories and labels, there are two general types of portfolios. A showcase or best work portfolio contains evidence of the level of student achievement of intended learning targets; that is, it illustrates what the student can do, not how he or she arrived at that point. A growth, learning, or process portfolio, as it is variously called, contains evidence about students’ learning processes. The classic of this type is the writing portfolio that includes several drafts and comments for each piece or a collection of pieces that shows improvement over time, as subsequent pieces show more developed skills than early pieces. In either case, the presence of the student work itself, and not just a grade or even narrative comments, is what makes the portfolio unique. For anyone, reviewing the evidence allows a deeper, […]

Traditional Teacher Tests Research Paper

This sample Traditional Teacher Tests Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. All students experience various classroom assessments, ranging from pop quizzes to essays to traditional multiple-choice tests. Undoubtedly, there has been some time in your life when you questioned the fairness of a classroom test. Unfortunately, some teachers likely proceed with assessments and interpretations without giving student complaints legitimate credence and use that same assessment the following year. This does not describe all classroom testing experiences, but most of us can recall at least one experience where this scenario rings true. Reasons for this situation include: (1) lack of sufficient training in constructing tests in teacher preparation programs, and (2) a mismatch between educational measurement theory and practice on the proper construction of teacher-made tests. Also, research is more focused on construction and interpretation of standardized tests, even though they have little direct application in classrooms— standardized test results are not received in a timely enough manner to directly affect instruction, making it difficult for teachers to apply standardized test results in their teaching. Despite the insufficient focus on teacher-made tests in teacher education programs, it is important for teachers to have the knowledge and skills to construct and use traditional classroom tests. This research-paper discusses the properties and importance of traditional teacher-made objective tests in classroom settings. The effects of increased employment of high-stakes standardized tests on the use of traditional classroom tests in a standards-based era also are discussed. Need for Assessment As Horace Mann is deemed the father of American education, so too is Ralph Tyler the father of curriculum and instruction. Tyler’s book, Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction (1949), played a seminal role in reforming the then current state of instructional practices. Tyler called for a focus on educational objectives that were to be planned, taught, and evaluated. Until that point there were no real measures of accountability of learning in place. After Tyler, evaluation of objectives became a fundamental component to ensuring that desired student learning was being achieved. Subsequently, objectives became the basis of classroom assessment. Benjamin Bloom’s, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1954) provided educators a way to classify learning and assessment tasks for years to come. Objectives are the key ingredients to making the planning, instructional, and evaluation of phases of instruction flow together. Overview of Teacher-Made Tests Standardized Versus Nonstandardized There are two major categories of tests: standardized and nonstandardized. Standardized tests are administered and scored using fairly uniform standards. They can be used to make either norm-referenced (relative comparisons)  or criterion-referenced  (absolute comparisons) interpretations of student learning. Until the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, many standardized tests were used to make norm-referenced interpretations of student learning. Currently, 45 […]

Standardized Tests Research Paper

This sample Standardized Tests Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. What is a standardized test? People often think about #2 pencils, stuffy classrooms, and high-stakes tests when they think about standardized testing. We see in the media that standardized tests are a hallmark of the No Child Left Behind (2001) era. As such, much of the coverage of standardized tests involves accusations of bias or arguments that tests take time away from teaching. We refer the reader to Section XVI of Volume 2 (Federal, State, and Community Policies) for arguments for and against these views. Our purpose is to focus on the nature of standardized tests. We hope that in learning about standardized testing, readers can become critical consumers of testing-based statistics and arguments. For further insight into common misperceptions about tests and data interpretation, see Bracey (2006). Defining Standardized What does it actually mean for a test to be standardized? Cronbach (1960) argued that standardized tests were those in which the conditions and content were equal for all examinees. He defined a standardized test as “one in which the procedure, apparatus, and scoring have been fixed so that precisely the same test can be given at different times and places” (p. 22). Standardizing testing conditions and content is meant to increase the reliability of examinees’ scores by reducing sources of error extraneous to the abilities or skills being measured. For example, if examinees were given different directions for completing the test (e.g., to guess versus to leave a question blank when the correct answer is unknown), some differences in scores could be the result of directions rather than ability. Standardization attempts to reduce this possibility by holding as many factors as possible constant in testing. Nearly 40 years later, the Standards of Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999) reflects a shift away from focus on equal content, but a continued emphasis on equal conditions. Accordingly, standardization is a form of test administration designed to maintain “a constant testing environment” such that the test is conducted “according to detailed rules and specifications” (p. 182). The testing community has also seen shifts in the level at which conditions are held equal. Sometimes it is necessary to provide accommodations to particular examinees. A new definition of standardization reflecting these changes exists today. What has remained constant across the changing definitions of standardization, however, is a focus on the purpose of standardization: to ensure fairness. Placing Standardization on a Continuum The strict definition of standardization proposed by Cronbach was never completely realized. Standardized test conditions suggest fixed administration procedures, but as Brennan (2006) argues, “It is particularly […]

Textbook Reform Research Paper

This sample Textbook Reform Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Textbooks are supposed to serve as valuable learning resources for students by succinctly synthesizing the gist of the curriculum and helping them to understand and apply it. But analyses conducted in recent decades indicate that most American textbooks are not fulfilling these functions effectively. Instead of presenting networks of connected content structured around powerful ideas, they tend to address too much breadth in not enough depth. This makes it difficult for students to construct meaningful and connected understandings that they can apply to their lives outside of school. Consequently, students tend to rely on rote memorizing of disconnected bits of content that will be difficult to access and apply in the future. This research-paper will describe this problem in detail, explain how it developed, consider how it might be remedied, and suggest ways that teachers might cope with it in the meantime. Introduction Textbooks are intended to be key instructional resources for K-12 teachers and students. They are not designed to be the only instructional resource, and curriculum content should not be limited to what is included on their pages. Nor should they be used in ways that limit students’ school learning experiences to reading textbooks, filling out work sheets composed of closed-ended or short-answer knowledge and comprehension questions, and then taking tests featuring similar questions. These approaches to instruction rightly have been criticized as boring and restricted to lower levels of cognitive processing. But they represent inappropriate use of textbooks, not problems inherent to textbooks themselves. When used optimally, textbooks serve as key components in much more varied and powerful programs of curriculum and instruction. In these programs, the curriculum is broader than the content of the textbooks, and students are engaged in a variety of learning activities in addition to (and where appropriate, instead of) those included in the textbooks and any ancillary materials that accompany them. To the extent that its content and activities are closely aligned with the course or unit goals, a textbook will synthesize most of the important facts, concepts, principles, and skills that the teacher wants to develop. Textbook reading and related activities can be especially valuable for providing students with an initial base of common knowledge that will be developed during class discussions and application activities, and subsequent review of the highlights featured in a good textbook helps students to synthesize and retain what they have learned. By presenting the gist of a lesson or unit in a single source, good texts make it much easier for students to access and synthesize this material than it would be otherwise. Textbooks vary in their usefulness as learning resources in particular instructional situations (i.e., […]