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October 2018 Newsletter

Our October newsletter offers Wing Institute Knowledge Network members one Wing Institute Overview on the impact of Teacher Soft Skills. We have 8 news items of interest to our colleagues: 

  • Sharing successes and hiding failures: ‘reporting bias’ in learning and teaching research.,
  • Effective programs in elementary mathematics: A best-evidence synthesis?,
  • Shared book reading interventions with English learners: A meta-analysis., 
  • Restorative justice in Oakland schools: Implementation and impact.,  
  • Hard words: Why aren't kids being taught to read?
  • The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high.,
  • What is the impact of student absenteeism on student outcomes?, and
  • How predictive are student grades?
We would like to thank our Knowledge Network members for your support in offering tips on new research topics for inclusion on our web site. We wish you  very Happy Halloween.
The Wing Institute

Wing Original Papers

Teacher Soft Skills Overview


A teacher’s success is predicated on effective mastery of two requisite skill categories: technical competencies and personal competencies (soft skills). Technical skills are the specific skills and factual knowledge intrinsic to a specific job. Personal competencies, on the other hand, are skills broadly applicable to almost all professions; they create the foundation that enables a person to effectively use technical skills. Research shows large effect sizes, ranging from 0.72 to 0.87, for effective teacher-student relations that increase student academic performance and improve classroom climate. This overview will examine nine of the most frequently mentioned soft skills. These skills include; 

  1. Communicating high expectations
  2. Communicating clearly
  3. Instilling a love of learning or motivating students
  4. Persevering
  5. Adapting to novel situations
  6. Showing empathy and cultural sensitivity
  7. Being an effective problem solver
  8. Working well with others and being a member of a team
  9. Managing time and personal productivity

Read More


What steps can be taken to improve the quality of research?


An examination of current practices and standards in education research strongly support the need for improvement. One of the issues that requires attention is reporting bias. Reporting bias can lead to a study telling a different story from the realities it is supposed to represent. When researchers selectively publish significant positive results, and omit non-significant or negative results, the research literature is skewed. This is called ‘reporting bias’, and it can cause both practitioners and researchers to develop an inaccurate understanding of the efficacy of an intervention. Potential reporting bias are identified in this recent high-profile higher education meta-analysis. The paper examines factors that lead to bias as well offers specific recommendations to journals, funders, ethics committees, and universities designed to reduce reporting bias. Read More

What elementary mathematics programs produce the best results?


Effective programs in elementary mathematics: A best-evidence synthesis. This research synthesis examines randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental research on the mathematics achievement outcomes for elementary school programs. The best outcomes were found for tutoring programs. One-to-one and one-to-small group models had equal impacts. The outcomes for tutoring had equally positive outcomes regardless if the person delivering the instruction was a teachers or paraprofessionals. Technology programs showed modest positive impacts. The findings suggest that programs emphasizing personalization, engagement, and motivation are most impactful in elementary mathematics instruction.  Read More

How does shared book reading affects the English language and literacy skills of young children learning English as a second language?


Shared Book Reading Interventions With English Learners: A Meta-AnalysisIn the United States there is a significant population of children whose second language is English. Research reveals English language learners are overrepresented among students who read at below basic levels. Identifying practices that can increase the proficiency of English learners is essential for these children in order to avoid achievement deficits in later grades. This meta-analysis examines how shared book reading impacts the English language and literacy skills of young children. The study finds a significant positive effect of using shared reading on English learner academic outcomes. Read More

How effective is whole school restorative justice?


Restorative justice in Oakland schools. Implementation and impact: An effective strategy to reduce racially disproportionate discipline, suspensions, and improve academic outcomes. Schools around the United States continue to use zero-tolerance disciplinary policies and practices to suspend or expel students for minor behavioral infractions, such as verbal disrespect, fighting, or truancy. Compelling evidence suggests that zero tolerance disciplinary policies and practices used for decades have proven ineffective. This study examines the impact of The Whole School Restorative Justice Program (WSRJ). The key findings of this report show decreased problem behavior, improved school climate, and improved student achievement. Read More

What does research tell educators and parents about reading?


This report and podcast examines the scientific basis for how to teach reading to children. This investigation reveals how children learn to read that emphasizes the five critical components of reading instruction. Unfortunately, most teacher preparation programs ignore the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As a result, millions of kids are being set up to fail. This American Public Media documentary assesses the current knowledge base behind sound reading practices, the positive impact of effective reading practices can have on student reading performance, and the challenges faced in implementing these practices in the face of opposition from practitioners of whole language and proponents of balanced reading instruction. Read More

11 Million Days Lost: Race, Discipline, and Safety at U.S. Public Schools: Part I


Research tells us that student engagement is one of the most important components of a classroom strategy to facilitate student learning, as is effective teaching, a systematic instruction pedagogy, and evidence-based curriculum.  Yet none of these interventions matter if a student is not in school. There are an increasing number of studies examining student absenteeism and its negative impact on student achievement.  This descriptive summary is one of the first reviews to examine the number of days of “lost instruction” resulting from student suspensions. The study examines the total number of days lost nationwide, disparities among different student subgroups, and differences across individual states.  Read More

The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high: Trends in the teacher wage and compensation gaps through 2017 


Given that evidence clearly shows teachers as having the single greatest school-based impact on student learning, it becomes crucial that schools recruit and retain high quality teachers.  A key component to this involves teacher wage and benefit packages.   This study concludes that teacher compensation is falling further and further behind that of comparable career opportunities each year. Read More

Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016)


Student grades have been one of the longest standing tools for measuring student performance and there is an inherent assumption by educators and parents that they are accurate reflections of how well their children are doing.  This study examines that assumption, asking the question:  how well do student grades correlate with test scores, school demographics, student performance on college entrance exams, and the historical difficulty for getting A’s (is it easier or harder to get A’s). Read More

Conference Presentations

Wing Powerpoint Presentations


We appreciate your interest in our activities and hope you find this information of interest. Read More

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