Marshall Memo 562

A Weekly Round-up of Important Ideas and Research in K-12 Education

November 24, 2014



In This Issue:

  1. How to avoid some common problems in group decision-making

  2. Using Socratic seminars in a high-school English class

  3. Orchestrating authentic classroom conversations

  4. Twelve secrets of highly productive writers

  5. A birth-to-third-grade strategy for closing the achievement gap

  6. Making homework meaningful for students and efficient for teachers

  7. Effective inquiry-based science programs

  8. High-school counselor caseloads and student college enrollment

  9. Teacher preparation – does it matter?

10. A report on The Good Behavior Game

11. Short items: (a) Math resources; (b) A bank of Fred Jones PAT fun instructional games;

      (c) Eric Mazur master class


Quotes of the Week

“The human brain may be wired from birth to synchronize with and imitate other people. It is no exaggeration to say that herding is a fundamental behavior of human groups.”

            Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie (see item #1)


“Fight the urge to tell them the answers.”

            Casey Cuny on conducting Socratic seminars (see item #2)


“To engage students in real talk, we must be thoughtful and responsive, trust in students’ abilities, and support them in problem solving instead of controlling the process ourselves.”

Maria Nichols (see item #3)


“Knowing that silence on the outside does not equal silence on the inside, are we watching for evidence of engagement on students’ faces or in their body language, and then responding?”

            Maria Nichols (ibid.)


“Productive writers don’t allow themselves the indulgence of easy excuses. When they start to have feelings of self-doubt – I can’t do this, it’s too hard, I’ll never write another good sentence – they tell themselves to stop feeling sorry for themselves and just do the work.”

            Rachel Toor (see item #4)


“The best writing is a conversation between author and reader.”

            Rachel Toor (ibid.)








1. How to Avoid Some Common Problems in Group Decision-Making

            In this Harvard Business Review article, Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law School) and Reid Hastie (University of Chicago School of Business) analyze why, despite the old adage that two heads are better than one, groups often make bad decisions. Groups go wrong when: (a) people

receive incorrect information or signals from other members; and (b) group members change their views or silence themselves to avoid disapproval or penalties from others. Some common results:

The group amplifies an error rather than correcting it. Psychologists have identified seven human foibles that tend to become more problematic in groups: the planning fallacy – under-estimating how much time and money a project will take; overconfidence, which leads people to believe their forecasts are more accurate than they really are; the availability fallacy – people seize on whatever they’ve just experienced or is most memorable; the representativeness fallacy, which leads people to believe that things similar in one way are similar in other ways, too; egocentric bias, which leads people to exaggerate the extent to which their tastes and preferences are typical; the sunk-cost fallacy, which leads people to stick with a hopeless project because so much has already been invested in it; and the framing fallacy, which leads people to agree with something because of the way it’s presented – for example, saying 90% of people will be alive in five years (versus saying 10% will be dead).

The group falls victim to the cascade effect. This happens when group members follow the statements and actions of those who speak or act first. This can occur when juries take a straw poll before deliberating – if the first two or three members express one view, the next two or three people are often influenced to change their original position. “The human brain may be wired from birth to synchronize with and imitate other people,” say Sunstein and Hastie. “It is no exaggeration to say that herding is a fundamental behavior of human groups… Group members think they know what is right, but they nonetheless go along with the group in order to maintain the good opinion of others… not to seem ignorant, adversarial, or skeptical.”

The group becomes polarized. If group members hear colleagues express views with which they agree, they feel reinforced and migrate to positions more extreme than those they originally held. There’s a peer-group dynamic at work here, as well as people overcoming uncertainty and becoming more confident in their views.

People focus on what “everybody knows” already. Groups tend to pay less attention to valuable information that only a few possess. Group members who have what appears to be the right information become “cognitively central” and dominate the discussion while those who have less-obvious information become “cognitively peripheral” and are marginalized or ignored.

How can these insidious tendencies be avoided and the quality of group decisions improved? Sunstein and Hastie suggest the following:

-   Silence the leader. Group honchos can improve the quality of decisions by laying back and encouraging broad participation.

-   “Prime” critical thinking. When groups warm up with a task that involves divergent thinking, members are much less likely to self-silence or go along with the consensus.

-   Reward group success. People need to be reminded that the premium is on the best group outcome – then they’re more likely to participate and bring up important information that may not be part of the initial consensus.

-   Assign roles. Groups perform better when each member is assigned a specific task up front and people know that everyone has something to contribute to the decision.

-   Appoint a devil’s advocate. It sometimes helps for one group member to be given the job of deliberately surfacing minority views. “But be careful with this approach,” caution Sunstein and Hastie: “Authentic dissent and a formal requirement of devil’s advocate are different; the latter does far less to improve group performance, because members are aware that it’s artificial – a kind of exercise or game.”

-   Establish contrarian teams. This involves appointing a “red team” whose job is to find mistakes and flaws in a proposal and make the strongest possible case against it.

-   The Delphi method. Members are polled anonymously before, during, and/or after deliberation to avoid the cascade effect and ensure that all views are heard.


“Making Dumb Groups Smarter: The New Science of Group Decision Making” by Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie in Harvard Business Review, December 2014 (Vol. 92, #12, p. 90-98),

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2. Using Socratic Seminars in a High-School English Class

(Originally titled “What Is the Value of Life? and Other Socratic Questions”)

            In this Educational Leadership article, California English teacher/PD coach/ELA coordinator Casey Cuny says that for years, the student essays at the end of her carefully crafted unit on the meaning of life were “horrible.” Then she began using Socratic seminars and students’ participation, enthusiasm, and learning improved dramatically. “Socratic seminars are essentially scaffolded critical thinking sessions that enable the entire class to engage in critical thinking at their own level,” says Cuny. “The seminar provides an environment for addressing the essential question with real depth.” Here are her implementation suggestions:

            • Create a list of prior questions. Backtracking from her unit’s essential question – “What is the value of life?” – Cuny created these provocations:

-   What gives something value?

-   How does the concept of scarcity relate to life?

-   If a whole item is made up of parts, what is one’s life made up of?

-   Who or what is part of your life?

-   How can the value of life be determined?

Other teachers in her school have also launched Socratic seminars. A physical education teacher’s essential question was, “Is pain necessary for gain?” The history department’s question was, “Why did Lincoln fight the war?”

Explain the basic guidelines. All students must answer each question in their notes. Students raise their hands to be added to the speaking list. Students must wait their turn before speaking. Students must take notes on their peers’ responses. Everyone must be respectful and tolerant. Everyone must use evidence from texts to support their claims and preface comments with the title of the text and page number so everyone can follow along. With these ground rules established, Cuny posts the first question, gives students several minutes to answer it in their notes, and asks who wants to speak. Hands go up, she jots down students’ names, and they respond in order. As more students volunteer, Cuny adds them to the list. “Students must listen to all their peers’ responses and summarize each response in their notes,” she says. “I model the process in the beginning by reading back the notes I wrote for the first few people.”

Guide the discussion. Cuny believes it’s essential for the teacher to sit at students’ level and model taking notes, but the teacher is also “the leader, clarifier, summarizer, and moderator,” reminding students to provide evidence for their statements, asking follow-up questions, and deciding when to move on to the next question.

Step back. “Part of the challenge of running a Socratic seminar is letting go of control,” says Cuny. “I am always a little nervous before starting a Socratic seminar, but I am surprised and delighted by the end. Time and time again, students surprise me.”

In a sidebar within the article, Cuny has the following practical suggestions for running seminars:

-   Be patient. Things can be awkward at first. “Fight the urge to tell them the answers.”

-   Embrace silence. Give students time to think and use their notes. Ask another question only if it’s silent for more than a minute.

-   Ask follow-up questions. “Do you mean…?” “Are you saying that…” “What do you mean by…?”

-   Use questions as a blueprint, not a rigid plan. Some of the best moments come by nimbly adapting the original plan.

-   Scaffold the process. In one class, Cuny wrote on the board, Claim, Support, Explanation.

-   Be an exemplar. Students should do most of the talking, but there are times when the teacher needs to step in and model the best responses.

-   Be flexible. Seminars can take several class periods. The goal is depth of knowledge.

-   End the seminar with a performance task or assessment that provides a culminating demonstration of knowledge and understanding.


“What Is the Value of Life? and Other Socratic Questions” by Casey Cuny in Educational Leadership, November 2014 (Vol. 72, #3, p.54-58),; Cuny can be reached at [email protected].

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3. Orchestrating Authentic Classroom Discussions

(Originally titled “Real Talk, Real Teaching”)

            “To engage students in real talk, we must be thoughtful and responsive, trust in students’ abilities, and support them in problem solving instead of controlling the process ourselves,” says Maria Nichols (San Diego schools innovations director) in this Educational Leadership article. Nichols says high-quality classroom discussions are “messy and dynamic,” sparked by complex texts and challenging ideas – for example, fourth graders incredulous about the Christmas truce during World War I when German and Allied soldiers paused from killing each other to play soccer, smoke cigarettes, and chat (“We think it’s all messed up,” exclaimed one student). Such intense, authentic involvement happens when a teacher establishes a learning environment and teaches a repertoire of discussion behaviors.

            But this kind of classroom can easily run into five predictable problems. Nichols offers advice on how to deal with each one, following this general maxim: “Rather than protocoling the energy out of dialogic interactions, our work is to teach into the energy, lifting students’ ability to talk as we strengthen their construction of understanding.”

            • Everyone is talking at once. When multiple ideas are vying to be heard, students need help holding onto their ideas while focusing on what others are saying. A teacher might say, “Let’s begin with Monique, focus on her idea, and see where that takes us. Then, let’s remember that Keira and Martin have ideas, too, and be sure to come back around to them to see how those fit.”

            • No one is listening. One teacher tactic is to have students tell what their partner said, but this sets “the listening bar low,” Nichols writes. “It’s possible to comply without any intent to draw from your partner’s thinking – indeed, without actually understanding his or her thinking at all.” When students are moving on without listening to a thoughtful comment, Nichols says the teacher should immediately jump in and bring the conversation back to the comment, rein in students’ egocentrism, and get them listening to each other.

            • Some students dominate. One teacher pulled an over-participating girl aside and got her thinking about whether she was learning from her classmates the way they were learning from her. This required “a new conversational stance,” says Nichols, “and a new repertoire of strategies, including asking questions, noticing the quiet students and inviting them into the conversation, and listening for ideas that might shift her thinking.”

            • Some students don’t participate. “Knowing that silence on the outside does not equal silence on the inside, are we watching for evidence of engagement on students’ faces or in their body language, and then responding?” asks Nichols. “Are we giving students time to work through complex ideas with a partner prior to larger-group talk?” Are we helping shy students develop confidence and skills and gently reaching out to involve them?

            • The ‘right answer’ paradigm prevails. Teachers can fall back into the initiate-respond-evaluate pattern of classroom talk, sometimes using the telltale phrase, Can anyone tell me…? “The teacher responds to each student voice rather than encouraging students to respond to one another,” says Nichols. “This positions the teacher as the authority and focuses effort on answers instead of ideas.” The alternative is for the teacher to encourage discussion with questions like, “What do the rest of you think about this?” “Are there other possibilities?” “Does this make sense?” “How does this idea connect to our earlier thinking?”


“Real Talk, Real Teaching” by Maria Nichols in Educational Leadership, November 2014 (Vol. 72, #3, p. 73-77),; Nichols is at [email protected].

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4. Twelve Secrets of Highly Productive Writers

            In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, Rachel Toor (Eastern Washington University) lists the practices of successful academic writers, many of which apply to K-12 students and educators who are aspiring authors:

            • They reject the notion of “writer’s block.” “[I]t’s a lot easier to say that the muse has gone AWOL than to admit that writing is hard and requires discipline and sacrifice,” says Toor. “Productive writers don’t reach for excuses when the going gets hard. They treat writing like the job it is. They show up, punch the clock, and punch out. Nothing romantic about it.” Some writers push themselves by establishing deadlines, aiming for a certain number of butt-in-chair hours per day, or producing a specific number of words.

            • They don’t over-talk their work. It’s embarrassing to have blabbed a lot about a piece and then have to abandon it, says Toor. She favors a more low-key approach, making solid progress and then sharing it with others.

            • They believe in themselves and their work. “If you second-guess every step, you’ll soon be going backward,” she says. “You have to believe it’s your job to be productive and to feel bad if you’re not.”

            • They know that a lot of important work happens “offline.” Writers find that even when they’re asleep, chatting with friends, or walking the dog, their brain is working and solutions will eventually emerge.

            • They’re passionate about their projects. Sometimes things seem to take forever and the details are a drag, but it’s important to keep the original enthusiasm in mind.

            • They know they’re good at it. “The best writing is a conversation between author and reader,” says Toor. Writers need to be themselves and believe in what they’re doing.

            • They read a lot, and widely. “Reading becomes a get-psyched activity for writing,” she says. Writers should read for fun, pay attention to craft, and borrow tricks and moves from authors they enjoy.

            • They know how to finish a draft. “As with relationships, beginnings are exciting and easy, full of hope and promise,” says Nichols. “Middles can get comfortable… But then many of us hit a wall… we crash into stuckness. Productive authors know that they have to keep going through the hard parts and finish a complete draft.” Then they have something to work with.

            • They work on more than one thing at once. “Some pieces need time to smolder,” says Toor. “Leaving them to turn to something short and manageable makes it easier to go back to the big thing.”

            • They leave off at a point where it will be easy to get started again. One trick is to stop the day’s writing in mid-sentence.

            • They don’t let themselves off the hook. Work avoidance begins with a series of “If only…” statements. “You have time only if you make it a priority,” says Toor. “Productive writers don’t allow themselves the indulgence of easy excuses. When they start to have feelings of self-doubt – I can’t do this, it’s too hard, I’ll never write another good sentence – they tell themselves to stop feeling sorry for themselves and just do the work.”

            • They know there are no shortcuts, magic bullets, special exercises, or incantations. “There are no tricks to make it easier,” Toor concludes, “just habits and practices you can develop to get it done.”


“The Habits of Highly Productive Writers” by Rachel Toor in The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 21, 2014 (Vol. LXI, #12, p. A24-25),

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5. A Birth-to-Third-Grade Strategy for Closing the Achievement Gap

            “Gaps between low-income and middle-class children appear early and increase over time,” says Massachusetts-based early learning expert David Jacobson in this Kappan article. “Addressing large gaps requires improving the quality of services for children at each level of development and integrating and aligning these services in order to have the most effect.” He makes the case for a comprehensive program that integrates services from birth through third grade and points to two districts, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Union City, New Jersey, that have pioneered this approach and seen marked improvements in student achievement and reductions of racial/economic disparities. The strategy has three phases:

            • Age 5-9 – The primary grades sometimes suffer from relative neglect because there isn’t state testing at this level, says Jacobson: “School and district leaders may have less knowledge about early childhood education, and, in many districts, early childhood does not have as much internal political power as other departments. Often low-performing teachers are moved from tested grades to kindergarten, 2nd-grade, and even 1st-grade classes.” What’s needed is careful K-3 curriculum alignment, clear expectations for all subject areas – especially oral language, vocabulary development, and social-emotional skills – and improved teacher training in developmentally appropriate classroom strategies and the effective use of classroom assessments.

Age 3-5 – In many communities, preschool education is a hodge-podge of family day care, community-based preschool centers, Head Start, and district programs, says Jacobson. While K-12 educators have a lot on their plates, it’s very much in their interests to join with state and other agencies to ensure that children enter kindergarten and first grade ready for school success. This means monitoring and improving the quality of existing preschool programs, promoting training in best practices (including joint professional development with district teachers and leaders), articulating curriculum expectations aligned with primary-grade Common Core standards, and establishing a climate of mutual respect and two-way collaboration.

            • Birth to age 3 – Services at this level include home visiting, parenting classes and supports, and quality infant-toddler care. Leaders need to advocate for cross-sector partnerships, full-service schools, and early childhood centers. Support services for needy families should continue through the preschool years and elementary grades.


“The Primary Years Agenda: Strategies to Guide District Action” by David Jacobson in Phi Delta Kappan, November 2014 (Vol. 96, #3, p. 63-69),; Jacobson can be reached at [email protected] and his organization, Birth Through Third Grade Learning Hub, is at

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6. Making Homework Meaningful for Students and Efficient for Teachers

            In this Edutopia article, Ben Johnson bemoans the fact that most students see homework as busywork unconnected to any important academic purpose. “This is why on the day the homework is due a group of students can typically be seen frantically huddled over the ‘smart girl’ copying her answers,” he says.

            In theory, homework extends classroom learning time, gives students the chance to practice skills learned during the day, and builds self-discipline and self-monitoring vital to college success. But in reality, standard operating procedures work against those goals:

-   Homework counts for only a small part of grades so students don’t take it seriously.

-   Students don’t do much heavy lifting when they do (or don’t do) their homework.

-   Going over homework consumes way too much classroom time.

-   Homework adds add little value to classroom instruction.

-   Grading homework is time-consuming and exhausting for teachers.

These conclusions led Johnson to change his approach to homework in the following ways:

            • Meaningful assignments – As a Spanish teacher, he required students to apply classroom learning after school in a number of ways:

-   Find a Spanish speaker and have a discussion using classroom vocabulary and skills;

-   Teach family members how to introduce themselves in Spanish;

-   Report on Spanish-language movies or TV shows;

-   Find Spanish advertisements, news articles, and personal ads;

-   Create Spanish menus, trip itineraries, and illustrated dictionaries;

-   Create readers’ theaters, reenact historical events, game shows, detective who-done-its;

-   Create a Spanish class newspaper, fashion show, sidewalk art, food bazaar, travel agency, restaurant, or department store.

Efficient accountability – Johnson required students to put their homework on their desks at the beginning of class every day, and while they did a “sponge” activity, he walked around the room and in five minutes was able to write one of three possible grades in his mark book for each student: full credit for completed work, half credit for partially completed work, and no credit for homework less than half completed or not turned in. He also stamped students’ papers with a smiley face for completed work and a frowning face (the smiley face

turned upside down) for the other two levels.

Immediate feedback and grading – Johnson then had students turn to their elbow partners and teach them what they learned in the homework. Finally, he had students exchange papers and correct any errors as he went over the answers. Students got immediate feedback and he got a quick sense of how well students did, any items that needed more work during that class, and which students needed extra help later. And he wasn’t taking home 120 papers.


“Debunking Homework Myths” by Ben Johnson in Edutopia, November 14, 2014,

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7. Effective Inquiry-Based Science Programs

            In this Review of Educational Research article, Dermot Donnelly and Marcia Linn (University of California/Berkeley) and Sten Ludvigsen (University of Oslo, Norway) report on their international study of inquiry-based learning for pre-college students. “Even though the potential of inquiry to positively impact learning is evident,” say the authors, “enacting inquiry has met considerable difficulties within school contexts.” These include new roles and responsibilities for teachers and students, teachers’ lack of experience, background knowledge, and training, and the fact that inquiry approaches often take more time and may not be aligned with high-stakes assessments.

Donnelly, Linn, and Ludvigsen begin by suggesting four possible degrees of structure and support for inquiry-based pedagogy:

-   Level 0: Teacher-led inquiry – All instructions are provided by the teacher as the class verifies a scientific concept, principle, or law.

-   Level 1: Structured inquiry – Students get instructions for finding answers to a particular problem defined by the teacher.

-   Level 2: Guided inquiry – The teacher gives students a question and students design the experiment and develop their own findings.

-   Level 3: Open-ended inquiry – Students decide the question and the means to solve it, with teacher support as needed.

The best inquiry programs, the authors say, explore meaningful and authentic scientific questions; use powerful visualizations; get students collaborating with each other; develop autonomous and metacognitive learning; and provide teachers with the support to implement programs effectively, while allowing flexibility to customize the curriculum. A key element, which the authors say needs more study, is finding the “sweet spot” between giving students too much guidance – which makes science “appear formulaic” – and too little guidance – encouraging “superficial and mindless explorations.”


“Impacts and Characteristics of Computer-Based Science Inquiry Learning Environments for Precollege Students” by Dermot Donnelly, Marcia Linn, and Sten Ludvigsen in Review of Educational Research, December 2014 (Vol. 84, #4, p. 572-608),; Donnelly can be reached at [email protected].

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8. High-School Counselor Caseloads and Student College Enrollment

            In this Teachers  College Record article, Chenoa Woods and Thurston Domina (University of California/Irvine) report on their study of students’ access to high-school counselors and subsequent enrollment in four-year colleges. Their conclusion: high-school counselors with manageable caseloads play an important role in college planning, information-gathering, and college-preparatory behavior among juniors and seniors (including taking SAT or ACT) – and the rate at which students enroll in four-year colleges. Perversely, students who have the greatest need for college counseling and support tend to attend schools with the least favorable student-to-counselor ratios. “Even after controlling for student and school background characteristics,” conclude the authors, “we find that students in schools with high counselor caseloads are less likely to speak to their counselors, less likely to formulate and act on college plans, and less likely to attend four-year colleges.”


“The School Counselor Caseload and the High School-to-College Pipeline” by Chenoa Woods and Thurston Domina in Teachers College Record, October 2014 (Vol. 116, #10, p. 1-30),

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9. Teacher Preparation – Does It Matter?

            In this Teachers College Record article, Matthew Ronfeldt and Brian Jacob (University of Michigan) and Nathaniel Schwartz (Tennessee Department of Education) report on their study of teachers’ preparation and their subsequent performance in schools. The conclusion: teachers who completed more methods-based coursework and practice teaching felt significantly better prepared for their first year of teaching and were somewhat more likely to stay in teaching. “These positive relationships were similar across alternative and traditional routes,” say Ronfeldt, Jacob, and Schwartz, “and tended to be greater among graduates from competitive colleges, males, and mathematics and science teachers, as well as teachers in urban, rural, and secondary schools.” The authors take issue with the assumption made by some policymakers that prospective teachers from competitive colleges need less preparation for the classroom. Not so, say Ronfeldt, Jacob, and Schwartz; in fact, these college graduates especially benefited from high-quality preservice preparation.


“Does Preservice Preparation Matter? Examining an Old Question in New Ways” by Matthew Ronfeldt, Brian Jacob, and Nathaniel Schwartz in Teachers College Record, October 2014 (Vol. 116, #10, p. 1-46),

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10. A Report on The Good Behavior Game

            In this article in Review of Educational Research, Andrea Flower, Rommel Bunuan, Colin Muething, and Ramon Vega Jr. (University of Texas/Austin) and John McKenna (St. John’s University) report on their review of 22 studies of The Good Behavior Game, a classroom management strategy that has been around for four decades. The authors conclude that this approach, when properly implemented, has immediate, positive results on challenging behavior – for example, students off task, talking out of turn, swearing, putting down classmates, being out of their seats, and being aggressive toward others.

            Here’s how The Good Behavior Game works: the teacher identifies problematic behaviors, posts rules, describes rewards, and divides the class into two equal teams. When a student misbehaves, the teacher says what the infraction is and debits the student’s team. (The teacher also adds points for prosocial behavior.) The team with the fewest infractions and the most positive points gets daily and weekly rewards.


“Effects of the Good Behavior Game on Challenging Behaviors in School Settings” by Andrea Flower, Rommel Bunuan, Colin Muething, Ramon Vega Jr., and John McKenna in Review of Educational Research, December 2014 (Vol. 84, #4, p. 546-571),

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11. Short Items:

            a. Math resources – This website by retired math teacher David Pleacher has a rich array of free lesson plans, ideas, puzzles, games, and videos.

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b. A bank of Fred Jones PATs fun instructional games – This link from the Fred Jones Tools for Teaching website!pat-bank/c5h has a large collection of free PAT (Preferred Activity Time) activities to use as curriculum-aligned group incentives in the classroom. Teachers can submit additional PAT activities to the website.

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c. Eric Mazur master class – This link will give you access to a delightful talk, “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer,” by Harvard physics professor Eric Mazur. In it, he explains why he developed his peer instruction model, describes its impact on student learning and attitudes, and conducts a quick simulation with his audience.

(Mazur’s book, Peer Instruction, is summarized in Marshall Memo 241.)

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About the Marshall Memo


Mission and focus:

This weekly memo is designed to keep principals, teachers, superintendents, and others very well-informed on current research and effective practices in K-12 education. Kim Marshall, drawing on 43 years’ experience as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, and writer, lightens the load of busy educators by serving as their “designated reader.”


To produce the Marshall Memo, Kim subscribes to 64 carefully-chosen publications (see list to the right), sifts through more than a hundred articles each week, and selects 5-10 that have the greatest potential to improve teaching, leadership, and learning. He then writes a brief summary of each article, pulls out several striking quotes, provides e-links to full articles when available, and e-mails the Memo to subscribers every Monday evening (with occasional breaks; there are 50 issues a year).



Individual subscriptions are $50 for a year. Rates decline steeply for multiple readers within the same organization. See the website for these rates and how to pay by check, credit card, or purchase order.



If you go to you will find detailed information on:

• How to subscribe or renew

• A detailed rationale for the Marshall Memo

• Publications (with a count of articles from each)

• Article selection criteria

• Topics (with a count of articles from each)

• Headlines for all issues

• Reader opinions (with results of an annual survey)

• About Kim Marshall (including links to articles)

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Subscribers have access to the Members’ Area of the website, which has:

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Core list of publications covered

Those read this week are underlined.

American Educational Research Journal

American Educator

American Journal of Education

American School Board Journal

AMLE Magazine

ASCA School Counselor

ASCD SmartBrief/Public Education NewsBlast

Better: Evidence-Based Education

Center for Performance Assessment Newsletter

District Administration

Ed. Magazine

Education Digest

Education Gadfly

Education Next

Education Week

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Educational Horizons

Educational Leadership

Educational Researcher

Elementary School Journal

Essential Teacher

Go Teach

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Education Letter

Harvard Educational Review

Independent School

Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk (JESPAR)

Journal of Staff Development

Kappa Delta Pi Record

Knowledge Quest

Middle School Journal


Phi Delta Kappan


Principal Leadership

Principal’s Research Review

Reading Research Quarterly

Reading Today

Responsive Classroom Newsletter

Rethinking Schools

Review of Educational Research

School Administrator

School Library Journal


Teachers College Record

Teaching Children Mathematics

Teaching Exceptional Children/Exceptional Children

The Atlantic

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The District Management Journal

The Journal of the Learning Sciences

The Language Educator

The Learning Principal/Learning System/Tools for Schools

The New York Times

The New Yorker

The Reading Teacher

Theory Into Practice


Wharton Leadership Digest