Book Report on Educational Strategies

Table of Content

The book written by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering and Jane E. Pollock,  Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, represents a meta-analysis of the conclusions taken from the educational research papers from 1970 until now. This analysis sets up the main educational strategies that have shown a real progress in student achievement, together with valueble  suggestions in the area of teaching and an educational flexible plan.

Together with the emancipation of social sciences,education has gained during the last century its place among scientific domains.The book written by Robert J.Marzano,Debra J.Pickering and Jane E.Pollock,Classoom Instruction That Works:Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement,arguments not only the impotance that education has in the present and its transformation from art to science,but also the necessity of increasing the level of teaching.In the introductory part,education is view as one of the most important factors of the evolution of a civilisation that influences in a considerable measure the faith of humanity,our own future.

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Bringing arguments both for and against, the book points out the conviction that due to its “special point in time”(Robert J.Marzano,Debra J.Pickering,Jane E.Pollock) education needs to reafirm itself as a science and to fund more and more precise research papers,analysis and works. In order to gain a higher level of predictibly and more reliable teaching strategies the book shows us a system based on effects sizes and percentile gains which, read correctly, can precise the most effective educational strategies and those that are not likely to be effective under any circumstances.

The authors do not agree with the belief that schools level is not important for the achievements of a student stated by Coleman’s book,Equality of Educational Opportunity and they also disagree with the belief that a teacher does not have an important role in the educational process and that he could not make much difference for the achievements of his students.

Furthermore, throughout the book there are many examples of implicated teachers and parents aswell which changed something in the way they were teaching and educateing, and by that they succed in increaseing the achievements of the students. Every chapter that summarise and presents a teaching strategy begins with an example of a life situation due to the fact that education is a social science, understanding by the term of social science a science that has as its object the human spirit.

Related to psychology,philosophy and sociology, education has its oigine in the Ancient Times,borned from a historical point of view from the actions of Socrate, from his dialogues in which he tried to educate the young man from Athena, and with which he succed to educate the entire humanity. Therefor, the book arguments the crucial part that education had had in time and its need to developpe.

All strategies of teaching presented in this book are introduced and discoussed in effects sizes and percentile gains,aswell as incorporate in an instructional planning and in one of the five subject-matter knowledge category.Thus this meta-analysis is really valueble for improving the act of teaching and specialiseing education as a science ofitself,the book is not shown as a teacher’s manual.More for,the authors warn us that the strategies shown and the advices and suggestions given must not be taken ad literam and that the most important thing,the goal of this research project,is that educators take advantage and use this book aswell as applying all the infomation of this book considering the circumstances given in each environment and on each section of study.

On this particular matter the author mentions the flaws of the work, the problems of the area which are not covered,due to the complexity of life situations and to the practical limits of the work. For a better understanding of the book,the author strongly insists in the introduction aswell as throughout the book that education must be perceived as a science with its basic principles.

Trying  to transform education from art to science may although be perceived as a paradox of todays teaching. The paradox consists in the fact that when it comes to the human spirit a science loses its predictibly, its strict laws, its low precent of mistake, its riguore,its high precent of correctitude. As like philosophy, education can not deny its beginings in art, in literature ,in myth, and it also can not deny its relation with art. Working with the human spirit involves a surten fascination, in order to capture the atention of his students, a teacher must seek the way in which his message can beunderstood, in which he can communicate with his students.

Between philosophy and sociology,education must be realised takeing in acount the needs of a surten situation.Therefor,although is not very important if the school where he teaches is one of a high-level,a educator must always consider in the act of teaching and in his methods,the cultual environment where his students live,the socio-economical context,the type of class he is teaching,the level on which his students are.But even in the most correct way of teaching in a suten circumstance failure can happen.A teacher must also have in mind suten considerations on his students psychological state,if they are o not opened to a suten way of teaching or to a surten domain of study,since the success of his teaching activity depends on the implication of his students.Although there are many factors which he can not control,that are not depended on him,a teacher can always at least try to make his students to increase their achievements.

The authors mention that the lack of responsiveness to the variety of teaching situations and problems that exists or may appear is also due to the general aspect of the book content.The book defines,oganises and gives a general presentation for every educational strategy together with statistical additional notes. This presentation can be understood as an intoduction in the study of educational methodology and the author mentions that it leaves an open door to future works and studies.

As far as I am concerned,the transformation of education fom art into science is a drastic view on what the fomation of students involves and really means. It is a contradictory situation to try to define a social discipline as a science,when social means unpredictible, diversity.

Theaching involves as the book mention and as it is known surten psychological knowledges,a surten understanding on how to improve a blocked situation,but it involves even more than what it can cover.And so,there are many strategies which may not work in surten circumstances and it is not only the duty of the teachers to try to create a proper environment and the proper conditions for teaching,but also the duty of the administrators of the ones which are responsable for the pedagogical material.Many of the strategies shown in the work requier specific environment and for their accomplishment it would be needed the implication of the administration.There would be also needed a proper preparation for teachers,consisting in seriouse classes of psychology,of sociology,and in different arts in order to create an educational strategy in a more inovative way.The educational strategies shown in the book involve a very strong interraction between teachers and students while on the teacher’s shoulders lays the intuitive part,the part in which he has to pick the most appopriate way of teaching,the strategy will give his students more achievements.

 On the other hand,I do agree with the impotance that the books gives to the act of teaching.Educateing is indeed a “special point in time” and to prove that we can analyse the situation from the countries where for centuries the power was unjustly taken by autoritatives governments. There,the people who lived under dictatorial government have conservated their culture and their civilisation by education. Education give for decades to those people the sens of their existence, of their rezistance against a corrupted system.

Chapter 1: Applying the Research on Instruction: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

In this chapter,the authors suggest that schools can have a significant positive influence on student achievement and that the key variable is the individual classroom teachers. How do you react to this message?

The suggestion gives teachers a right credit from their students achievements.Students evolution is in a surten measure the teacher’s masterpiece,it is his goal during years of meetings and discoussions with his students and it reflects in a suten measue the quality and quantity of his work.On the other hand there are many other factors in a student achievements,like the socio-economical factor,which do not depend on the teacher and which he does not control.There are mentioned in this chapter those contextual factors, but what it is not mentioned is that teachers with great results are atracted to better school by their better conditions and incomes.

Chapter 2:Identifiying Similarities and Differences

After reading the ‘Research and Theory’ section of this chapter, think about your own personal experiences with identifiying similarities and differences, both in school setings and in real life.Using these experiences as examples, explain why you think that the act of identifiying similarities and differences can have such a positive influence on learning.

From what I experienced during both teaching and learning I think that the positive effect that identifiying similarities and differences  has on learning is due mostly to the psychological process in which our mind is activated, when we try to identify similarities and differences we can add a new element to a more familiar one, in a way that being familiar, we can memorate it much easyer and work with it.

The chapter explains that both teacher-directed and student-directed assignments can have a potential positive effect on student achievement.Consider how you would decide whether to use a more teacher-directed instead of student-directed assignment.

In order to decide either for a more teacher-directed either fo a more student-directed assignement I would analyse which kind of assignments is more usefull for them at the moment, but this decision can change depending on the cicumstances, on whether I need to improve my teaching skills or they need to work harder for the exams.The important thing is to work together, to know that none of us is woking in vain.

Chapter 3:Summarizing and note taking

This chapter emphasizes the potential positive effect of summarizing and note taking. As you consider this infomation,think back on your own learning experiences from elementary school through your present learning situations and evaluate your ability to summarize and take notes. Identifiy your strenghts and weaknesses and try to conclude  what effect your ability to engage in these processes has had on your learning.

The ability of summarizing and taking notes has been very valueble for me,both in elementary school and in present learning situations because it has allowed me to easyly remember books and to make analysis on them.

This chapter describes ‘summarizing’ as a process of deleting,bsubstituting,nand keeping information. Although these three aspects of the pocess are easy to understand and model students often find it difficult to summarize effectively. Describe some easons you think that summarizing is such a challenge fo students.

Summarizing is a challenge for students because the process of deleting,substituting and keeping information supposes to take the essential from a context and expressing it. Students do not have enough life experience to find immediately the essential,nor what they ought to memorise from a situation,from a context.This ability requiers a surten developpement of  their judgements.

Chapter 4:Reinfocing Effort and Poviding Recognition

This chapter discousses the potential influence of reinforcing students effort and providing recognition for their accomplishments.bThink back to your personal experiences and try to identify situations in which your learning was positively influenced when someone reinforced your effort or recognise your accomplishments in some significant way.You might also remember situations that would have been improved if someone had reinforced your effort or had given you recognition.

Explain some of the reasons that,despite teachers attempts to emphasize effort,many students still hold on to the belief that their successes and failures are due to their ability, or lack therefor,or to other outside forces.

The reason why some students do not let themselves be motivated by teachers recognition might have multiple causes, like the fact that the reward sometimes for them does not make sens,bsometimes they just do not like the teacher for some particular reason

I had a similar experience once, with my history teacher who desperately tried to reinforced our efforts but he did not knew what matters fo us, and at the time we did not knew either,and so,from the failure in guessing of the teacher has proceed his failure in reinforcing our efforts.

Chapter 5:Homework and practice

Think back on your years of experience-as a student-as the recipient of homework assignments.Try to describe the types of assignments that enhanced your own learning  and those who had little,or even a negative effect on your learning.

The assignments that enhanced my learning were mainly creative essays on a variety of topics,or translations from latin writers.The assignments with little effect were execises which repeated the same form over and over again.I think that repeating can be both a positive and negative aspect of learning,positive because it allows students to learn more rapidly, and negative because it locks up our mind to one standard activity.

Reviewing the Research on homework emphasizes the impotance of commenting on students homework assignments. What strategies would you recommend to a teacher who wants to assign homework but claims that it is ligistically impossible to comment on a students work? I would recommend to that teacher to initiate an open discoussion on homework assignment,without taking as example for someone in particular,ask them how should have been done,tell them where were they wrong.

Chapter 6:Nonlinguistic Representations

Nonlinguistic Representation help us recall and use information every day.Think of a topic that you understand very well and noticed how many images related to this topic you can generate in your head.Now identify a topic with which you are familiar but that you do not understand well.Try to generate images and notice how difficult it is.

Suggest several specific ways that these linguistic experiences could be even more effective by guiding students to generate and use nonlinguistic representations,such as graphic organizers,role-plays,multimedia.

Nowadays, when images are exploding in front of our eyes it is very important for a person to have a structure in this area,to can organise and read these nonlinguistic representations.In order to accomplish that I would suggests open discoussions on different themes,because it is important to know eachother by the images we create in our minds.

Chapter 7:Cooperative Learning

”I dont like cooperative learning because my child ends up doing all the work”How would you respond to this parent concern? I would respond by telling her that the work was a bit larger than what her child had to do and that it is in the advantage of her child to accomplish his work in order to get better achievements.If the parent does not believe me by word I will ask her if she can do all her jobs,the ones of her child and the ones of her husband  and than I will ask her to not judge the result by the work seen,but to judge the work by the result.

Chapter 8:Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback

Try to recall personal experiences that exemplify working toward clear objective and being provided with regular, valuable feedback. How would you describe the type of feedback that you recieved and its influence on you?What type of feedback was not valuable or had a negative effect on your work? By the year when I got into college,my teachers were given us all sorts of credits if we attended their classes and if we participateing in the class debates,which meant that we had to read the books given in the bibliography and to be able to discouss about them.

Those credts were very important for my scholarship and those were the most interesting discoussions I ever had, and so I consider them valuable feedback.I did not think the same thing though about the feedbacks given by another teacher just for attending the classes, the intelectual motivations is what actually sustains the success of a feedback system.

Chapter 10:bCues,Questions and Advanced Organizers

In your experience,what makes some experiences with cues and questions better than anothers. From my experience,bthe difference between cues and questions experience is given by the level of the students and by the way in which the teacher passes to new infomations.


  1. Marzano,R.,J.,Pickering,D.,J.,Pollock,J.,E.,.(2001)Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Developement-Alexandria Virginia,USA

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