Power of Student Teams: Achieving Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Learning in Every Classroom Through Academic Teaming

Power of Student Teams: Achieving Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Learning in Every Classroom Through Academic Teaming

by Michael d Toth, David a Sousa


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The Brain that Does the Work is the Brain that Learns. 

In many classrooms, the teacher’s role is to talk and the student’s role is to listen. Whose brain is doing most of the work in this scenario? Authors Michael D. Toth and David A. Sousa present an alternative: a new pedagogical model called student-led academic teaming. In academic teams, students collaborate, peer coach, and peer teach while engaging in rigorous, standards-based tasks—a combination that leads to true social, emotional, and cognitive learning (SECL).

The simple truth is student-led academic teaming elevates core instruction to a level of rigor far beyond that of traditional classrooms and familiar grouping strategies. This book includes a groundbreaking 10,000-student research study on a large urban district where teaming raised achievement across the board, and narrowed achievement gaps for African-American students, English Language Learners, and students with special needs.

Toth and Sousa describe here a path to predictable success for every student, in every classroom, in every school—all backed by student data, neuroscience research, and experiences from superintendents, school leaders, teachers, and students who have made the shift. Teach for the 21st century through the power of student teams. This is the last major school reform you will ever have to make.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943920655
Publisher: Learning Sciences International
Publication date: 05/31/2019
Pages: 178
Sales rank: 1,195,436
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Forewords vii

The Revolution Unfolding in American Education Rick Stiggins vii

What If Students Were Engineers of Their Own Learning? Carol Ann Tomlinson ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The Power of Student-Led Academic Teaming 1

Student-Led Academic Teaming: From SEL to SECL 2

The Urgent Need to Build Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Skills 4

SEL Research Findings Are Promising 6

Enter Educational Neuroscience 7

A New Pedagogical Model for Reform 7

How This Book Can Help 9

Chapter Contents 10

Who Should Use This Book? 10

Glossary: Key Terms for Academic Teaming 11

Points to Consider: Introduction 15

What's Coming 16

Chapter 1 Introduction to Student-Led Academic Teaming 17

The Neuroscience of Student-Centered Instruction 18

The Three Phases of Core Instruction 20

Teacher-Centered Direct Instruction 20

Teacher-Led Student Groups 24

Student-Led Academic Teaming 26

Student and Teacher Roles Transformed 29

Getting Started and Growing in Mastery 32

The Power to Change 33

Cooperative Learning versus Academic Teaming 34

Questions for Reflection 35

Points to Consider: Chapter 1 37

What's Coming 38

Chapter 2 Implementing High-Functioning Academic Teams 39

The Enabling Conditions 39

A Defined Team: Stability, Team Size, and Diversity 40

Stability 40

Team Size and Diversity 41

Roles and Clear Norms of Conduct 45

A Clear and Compelling Purpose: Productive Struggle, Accountability, and Interdependence 50

Productive Struggle 51

Accountability 54

Interdependence 56

Creating and Sustaining a Supportive Environment:

Recognition, Resources, and Teacher Coaching 59

Recognition and Resources 59

Teacher Coaching 60

Supporting Academic Teaming Development 62

Recognizing When Teams Are High-Functioning-Or Not 64

Scripted Cooperative Learning Programs May Limit High Performance 65

Reflection Questions for Evidence of High-Functioning Teams 66

Points to Consider: Chapter 2 68

What's Coming 69

Chapter 3 Neuroscience and Other Research Support for Academic Teaming 70

Research Support for Teaming 70

Brains Within a Team Can Synchronize 70

Collaboration Increases Brain Synchrony 71

Talking About New Learning Helps the Learner Remember It 71

Teams Make Better Cognitive Decisions Than Individuals 71

Student-Led Academic Teams Enhance Positive Social-Emotional Growth 71

Student-Led Academic Teams Make Better Social-Emotional Decisions Than Individuals 73

Student-Led Academic Teaming Helps Develop Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills 73

Student-Led Academic Teaming Supports Visible Learning 73

Student-Led Academic Teaming Supports Personalized Learning 75

Student-Led Academic Teaming Develops Sustained Attention 76

Student-Led Academic Teaming Addresses Cultural Diversity 76

Teachers Also Benefit from Teaming 77

Points to Consider: Chapter 3 78

What's Coming 79

Chapter 4 Student-Led Academic Teaming Results 80

Des Moines Public Schools: Narrowing the Achievement Gap-Des Moines, Iowa 81

Howe Elementary School 82

A New Commitment to Instructional Transformation 82

Equity and Access for All 83

Howe Kindergarten Achievement Gap Drops to Zero 85

Students Recognize Their Growth 89

Committing to Student-Led Academic Teaming 90

North High School 91

Moving to a Culture of Student Empowerment 92

Classroom Systems for Increased Student Success 94

Better Serving Special Education Students Through Teams 95

Narrowing Academic and Skills Gaps at North High School 96

Lincoln High School 97

Positive Changes in Teacher Practice 98

Growth in Student Achievement, Engagement, Ownership, and Leadership 99

Continuing Toward a Brighter Future 100

Remarkable Achievement Results in Des Moines 101

Major Successes in Des Moines Public Schools 104

Points to Consider: Chapter 4 106

What's Coming 107

Chapter 5 Leading Classroom Change to Academic Teaming 108

Leading the Change in Vision 109

Constantly Communicating the Vision 111

Identifying Early Adopters 112

Expanding the Coalition 113

Aligning the Support Systems 115

Resistance Wanes 116

Central Office Support 117

Pitfalls to Avoid 120

Some Critical Advice 122

Points to Consider: Chapter 5 123

Conclusion Academic Teaming - Model Instruction for the 21St Century 124

Master Teachers or Master Students? 124

Accelerating Toward Mastery with Academic Teaming 125

Master Teachers Develop Master Teams 126

The Power and Potential of Academic Teaming as a Reform 126

How Does Academic Teaming Help Teachers? 127

How Does Academic Teaming Help Students? 128

How Does Academic Teaming Help Schools? 128

How Does Academic Teaming Help Parents and Guardians? 128

How Does Academic Teaming Help Teacher Preparation Programs? 129

How Does Neuroscience Support Academic Teaming? 129

How Does Academic Teaming Help Policy Makers? 131

Final Thoughts 131

Points to Consider: Conclusion 132


Appendix A Crosswalk for CASEL's SEL Competencies and Academic Teaming 134

Appendix B Crosswalk for Harvard's SEL Skills and Academic Teaming 138

Appendix C Key 21st-century Skills 143

Appendix D Crosswalk for Growth Mindset and Academic Teaming 145

Appendix E Crosswalk for Equity Principles and Academic Teaming 147

Appendix F Crosswalk for the Five Strategies of Formative Assessment to Academic Teaming 153

Appendix G Crosswalk for the Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning to Academic Teaming 155

Appendix H Crosswalk for Old and New Economy Skills and Bloom's Taxonomy 158

References 160

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