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Classroom Walkthroughs: Where Data-Gathering and Relationship-Building Meet for School Improvement

Many school leaders have embraced classroom walkthroughs as an informal school-improvement tactic. Learn how walkthroughs originated, why researchers think they’re effective, and how to match the right type of walkthrough to your school’s goals.

Rouleau, K., & Corner, T. (2020). Classroom walkthroughs: Where data-gathering and relationship-building meet for school improvement. McREL International.


Outside and inspired: The case for outdoor learning

Outdoor learning, which has a long but little-known history, has experienced something of a renaissance thanks to COVID-19, say Tracie Corner and Bryan Goodwin from McREL in the latest Research Matters column for ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine. Small studies of “forest schools” abroad suggest multiple behavioral and educational benefits beyond the current goal of keeping people out of stuffy rooms.

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McREL advises student-led study on pandemic anxiety

October 30, 2020 | Students face increased anxiety whether they learn from home or go back to school during the pandemic, so a student research team in Kentucky launched a large survey to alert educators and policymakers to any areas of concern for the future, the Richmond Register reported.

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Let’s use today’s problems to create tomorrow’s problem-solvers

With technology playing a huge and growing role in all our lives, it’s unfortunate that many K–12 students are just now being exposed to computer science and STEM education in some parts of our country. Beyond the technical know-how that STEM classes deliver, a well-designed STEM program can also promote curiosity, lifelong growth, and the interpersonal and problem-solving skills that employers need.

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For students facing trauma, writing is more than a literacy exercise

Trauma—something more and more students are learning about the hard way—is the theme for this month’s Educational Leadership magazine. McREL’s Bryan Goodwin and Lisa M. Jones contributed a Research Matters column on a tool that all teachers have access to and that can address some of the effects of trauma: writing.

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To Make Big Changes for Students, Teachers Should Think a Little Smaller

While districts and policymakers focus on sweeping changes to schools, teachers can get big results by making comparatively small changes to their daily practice. This companion piece to the McREL book Tilting Your Teaching introduces you to the seven Simple Shifts—adjustments that every teacher can make immediately to turn dodgy classroom situations into engaging learning opportunities. And the paper shows how the Simple Shifts can be adapted to online learning to help teachers thrive in the COVID-19 environment.

Pearsall, G. (2020). To make big changes for students, teachers should think a little smaller. McREL International.


Even the greatest leaders have some things to learn

Schools everywhere are navigating uncharted waters as they confront the unprecedented challenge of delivering learning in a global pandemic—developing protocols for virus tracking and school closures, inventing new ways of teaching and learning, and supporting the well-being of students and staff alike. So, what should leadership look like during times of such uncertainty and change?

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A three-step guide to making student learning stick

As educators we’ve all committed our lives to learning. But what is learning, exactly? How does it work? Citing insights from cognitive science, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin breaks down how our students process new information, create memories, and apply it to new learning in this three-part video series on Making Learning Stick.

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