209 Chapters
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Chapter 1 Research and Theory

Marzano, Robert J.; Pickering, Debra J. Marzano Research ePub

Student engagement has long been recognized as the core of effective schooling. In the book Engaging Schools, the National Research Council’s Committee on Increasing High School Students’ Engagement and Motivation to Learn (2004) explains that “research on motivation and engagement is essential to understanding some of the most fundamental and vexing challenges of school reform” (p. 14).

Despite its obvious importance to teaching and learning, engagement is not an easily defined construct. As Ellen Skinner, Thomas Kindermann, James Connell, and James Wellborn (2009) stated, “There is, of course, no single correct definition of engagement” (p. 224). They noted that a variety of constructs seem to overlap in meaning and use—specifically motivation, engagement, attention, interest, effort, enthusiasm, participation, and involvement. Because our audience is the classroom teacher as opposed to researchers and theorists, we do not attempt to reconcile differences among researchers and theorists regarding Skinner and her colleagues’ constructs. Rather, our attempt is to articulate an internally consistent perspective on engagement that K–12 classroom teachers can use to plan and execute specific strategies that enhance student engagement. We first examine the four topics that constitute our model of attention and engagement and are typical aspects of any engagement discussion: (1) emotions, (2) interest, (3) perceived importance, and (4) perceptions of efficacy.

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Chapter 5 Positive Self-Concept

Ilberlin, Jeanie M. Marzano Research ePub

Chapter 5


Self-concept is the view people have of themselves and their abilities. A positive self-concept is a result of having both a strong sense of self-efficacy as well as high self-esteem. Self-efficacy means knowing one has the ability to achieve goals through dedication and hard work. Self-esteem is one’s overall sense of self-worth. Self-concept, and particularly self-efficacy, has been shown to have a moderate to significant impact on students’ achievement and goal attainment (Hattie, 2009). The increase in confidence that accompanies a positive self-concept also develops students’ resiliency, as it helps them perceive themselves as capable of overcoming obstacles. Conversely, a negative self-concept can significantly impact students’ motivation to set and work toward goals; their lack of confidence or low expectations may cause them to expect failure before they even try.

Teachers and parents can directly influence students’ development and maintenance of a positive self-concept. One powerful method teachers can use to help students develop a positive self-concept is to model how a person with a positive self-concept approaches problems, tasks, and daily interactions. When teachers share with students how much they personally value self-acceptance, effort toward goals, and a willingness to take risks, they are influencing students to similarly value these qualities. Another method teachers can use to encourage a positive self-concept is providing specific feedback related to effort. For example, a teacher might say, “Your essay is well organized and has almost no grammatical mistakes—I can tell you really worked hard on this!” When teachers do this, students’ self-efficacy and self-esteem improve. Further, encouraging and helping students experience positive emotions and challenge their negative thoughts about themselves also bolster students’ self-concept.

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Chapter 7 Physiology

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Physiology dictates our most salient and basic of needs within the hierarchy and greatly impacts students’ ability to learn at a particular moment in time. In this chapter, we address five issues related to physiology: (1) hunger, (2) sleep, (3) physical health, (4) mental health, and (5) homelessness.

Hunger can drastically affect student learning, particularly over the long term. As such, it is crucial that teachers are aware of the extent to which their students have access to adequate and nutritious food, including identifying chronically hungry students, providing food in the classroom, and programs that address food needs.

The first step in combating student hunger is to identify food-insecure students. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy as directly asking students about their hunger needs. Instead, teachers should become adept at identifying signs of chronic hunger and learn how to discuss hunger with students in a sensitive and conscientious manner.

Consider the following topics when identifying these particular students: (1) differentiating between normal hunger versus food insecurity and (2) questioning students about hunger.

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Chapter 4 - Organizing Learning Goals into a Scale

Marzano, Robert J. Marzano Research ePub

In chapter 3, we presented a framework that allows teachers to design learning goals at four levels of difficulty: retrieval, comprehension, analysis, and knowledge utilization. Recall from the discussion at the beginning of that chapter that the reasons a teacher would want to design goals at different levels of complexity are twofold: (1) for goals to be effective instructional tools, they must be challenging but attainable by students; and (2) given that students in any classroom will have differing levels of understanding regarding a topic in a unit of instruction, the teacher must design multiple goals at different levels of complexity to meet the “challenging but attainable” criterion. We also briefly introduced the notion of organizing goals into a scale (see table 3.2, page 27). This chapter describes how to organize learning goals into a rubric or scale using the framework provided in chapter 3.

Identify a Target Goal for the Class

The process of creating multiple goals organized in a scale begins by identifying a target goal for a unit of instruction. As we saw in chapter 2, these goals must usually be gleaned from state standards documents, district standards documents, or district lists of essential learner outcomes. Again, as we saw in chapter 2, a teacher must keep in mind whether the goal involves declarative knowledge or procedural knowledge and then write the goal in an appropriate format. To illustrate, a high school social studies teacher might identify the following learning goal:

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Chapter 3 - Developing Learning Goals at Different Levels of Difficulty in the Service of Differentiation

Marzano, Robert J. Marzano Research ePub

In chapter 1 on research and theory, we saw that goals should be at the right difficulty level to enhance student achievement. They can't be too easy, or they will bore students. They can't be too difficult, or they will frustrate students. Instead, they must challenge students but be perceived as attainable.

In a classroom with twenty-five or more students, developing learning goals at the right level of difficulty can pose significant obstacles for teachers. Given that students will be at different levels of understanding or skill in terms of the content being studied, how can a teacher write a goal for all students that satisfies the criterion “challenging but attainable”? The answer is fairly straightforward. For a given topic in a unit of instruction, construct goals at multiple levels of difficulty.

To a great extent, this chapter provides a framework for differentiation. Carol Ann Tomlinson's work in books such as The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners (Tomlinson, 1999) and How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (Tomlinson, 2004) has demonstrated the importance of differentiating instruction in a class to meet the diverse needs of students in the class. From the perspective of this book, differentiating begins with designing learning goals at different levels of difficulty.

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