That Promote High Performance and Successful
Jones (1992, p. 168) suggests several elements that are common to
high-achieving learning environments for children:
- The locus of learning is in the learner and the goal of
learning is the construction of meaning by the student.
- Learning focuses less on low-level basic skills and isolated
facts and more on enabling students to construct meaning, solve
complex problems, and develop and learn content or cognitive
processes, strategies, and skills.
- The environment encourages self-regulated learning rather
than teacher-regulated learning.
- Instruction emphasizes depth of learning rather than breadth
Martin Haberman at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers
additional insight into what is needed to create high-achieving,
engaged learning environments, particularly in urban schools. He
argues that high levels of student involvement and a focus on
higher-order thinking rather than basic skills give classrooms a
different structure. As a result, urban students in particular
are likely to be more successful, engaged, and have higher
self-esteem. Haberman (1991, pp. 293-94) lists the following features
of what he calls "good teaching":
- Students are involved with issues that they regard as vital
- Students explain human differences and needs.
- Students see major concepts, broad ideas, and general
principles, and they are not engaged in the learning of
fragmented, isolated, factual information.
- Students become part of the process of planning educational
- Students use values, such as fairness, equity, and justice,
in their classroom setting.
- Students are actively engaged in learning.
- Student learning experiences often involve real-life
- Students work in heterogeneous groups.
- Students are involved in such complex work as comparing,
analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, generalizing, and problem
- Students review their own work and rework it to improve it,
polish it, and refine it.
- Students are involved with high-tech information access
through electronic learning or computer networking.
- Students reflect on their own lives and how they have come to
understand, believe, and feel as they do.
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