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"Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement"

A book summary of "Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement" by Robert J. Marzano.

Katie McGowan

on 11 April 2011

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Transcript of "Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement"

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Robert J. Marzano Research on What Works In Schools The Importance of Background Knowledge Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach Tapping the Power of Wide Reading &
Language Experience Building Academic Background Knowledge Though Direct Vocabulary Instruction Six Steps to Effective Vocabulary Instruction Defining an Academic Vocabulary Setting Up a Schoolwide or Districtwide Program Chapters 1. The Importance of Background Knowledge A student’s background knowledge (about the content) is a reflection of how well they will learn new information. The Consequences of Poverty Academic background has a dynamic impact on school success. Requires:
the ability to process and store information (permanently); a.k.a. fluid intelligence

the number and frequency of our academically oriented experiences

Permanent memory stores the information to background knowledge.

More background knowledge = More academic success Aquiring Background Knowledge "This book provides the best systematic indirect approaches to enhance student achievement." “Knowledge is Power” Schools Can Make The
Difference There is a higher percentage of students born in poverty that are doomed for
academic failure than those who are not. Crystallized (Learned) Intelligence: exemplified by knowledge of facts, generalization, and principles.
It is the stronger correlate of student success.
Studies show weak relationship between academic knowledge and fluid intelligence. And a strong one between academic knowledge and crystallized intelligence. Schools must be willing to dedicate the necessary time and resources to enhancing the academic knowledge of students, particularly those from lower status levels and background. But How? 1. Direct Approaches 2. Indirect Approaches Direct approaches increase the variety and depth of out of class experiences (field trips, travel, exchange programs).

Provide academically enriching experiences.

Establish mentoring relationships with the community (ex. big brothers big sisters) that provide more academically oriented experiences. Indirect approaches are activities fostered within the school day.

A teacher needs to understand the nature of your students background knowledge and how it is stored permanently.

Implement indirect approaches within the context of the current system and its available resources. 2. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach 1 2 3 4 5 6 Principles Background Knowledge is Stored in Bimodal Packets The Process of Storing Experiences in Permanent Memory Can Be
Background Knowledge is Multi-Dimensional and Its Value is
Even Surface-Level Background Knowledge Is Useful Background Knowledge Manifests Itself as Vocabulary Knowledge Virtual Experiences CAN Enhance Background Knowledge The goal of installing background knowledge in permanent memory The goal to facilitate the storage of information in permanent memory (ensuring multiple exposures) The goal to focus on the development of surface-level but accurate knowledge across broad spectrum. The goal of instructional techniques would focus on linguistic and non linguistic aspects of background knowledge. The goal to focus on developing labels in the tradition of direct vocabulary instruction. The goal to rely on the generation of virtual experiences in working memory through reading, language interaction, and educational visual media. 3. Tapping the Power of Wide Reading & Language Experience Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
A FIVE STEP PROCESS Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
Enhance student’s knowledge and skills Must be continuous over many years and conform to 8 factors:
‣ access—easy student access to materials
‣ appeal—free and encouraged to read to their interests
‣ conducive environment—the atmosphere is relaxed & comfortable
‣ encouragement—gives positive feedback and takes interest in the student
‣ staff training—engage all members of school’s staff in SSR program
‣ non-accountability—CRITIAL FACTOR, ruling out testing on student’s knowledge
‣ follow up activities—recommended activities, not required. Enhance student understanding and help them interact with the information they read. This is not to track their performance.
‣ distributed time to read—at least twice a week STEP 1: Students Identify Topics of Interest to Them STEP 2: Students Identify Reading Material APPEAL ACCESS STEP 3: Students Are Provided Uninterrupted Time to Read DISTRIBUTED
EXPERIENCE STEP 4: Students Write About or Represent the Information in Their Notebooks STEP 5: Students Interact with the Information BUILD SKILLS 4. Building Academic Background Knowledge Through Direct Vocabulary Instruction 5. Six Steps to Effective Vocabulary Instruction 6. Defining an Academic Vocabulary 7. Setting Up a Schoolwide or Districtwide Program 1 2 3 4 5 6 Introduction Direct Instruction: The Cases & Characteristics The Case Against The Case For Characteristic 1:
Effective vocabulary instruction does not rely on definitions.

Characteristic 2:
Students must represent their knowledge of words in linguistic and nonlinguistic ways.

Characteristic 3:
Effective vocabulary instruction involves the gradual shaping of word meanings through multiple exposures.

Characteristic 4:
Teaching word parts enhances student’s understanding of terms.

Characteristic 5:
Different Types of Words require different types of instruction.

Characteristic 6:
Students should discuss the terms they are learning.

Characteristic 7:
Students should play with words.

Characteristic 8:
Instruction should focus on terms that have a high probability of enhancing success.
The Teacher Provides a Description, Explanation, or Example of the New Term Students Restate the Explanation of the New Term in Their Own Words Students Create a Nonlinguistic Representation of the Term Students Periodically Do Activities That Help Them Add To Their Knowledge of Vocabulary Terms Periodically Students Are Asked to Discuss the Terms with One Another Periodically Students Are Involved in Games That Allow Them to Play with the Terms This approach in combination with SSR is a powerful way to enhance academic background knowledge... Subject-Specific Terms are the Target Previous efforts have been Inadequate The Standards Movement Analysis Produced a List of 7,923 This chapter decribes the process that was used to identify the subject area terms and contrasts them with those from previous efforts. Establish Reasonable Targets A school must: Identify Essential Terms Make an Effort
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