Montana LINCS Update



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1.   Distance Learning Research #13:  Teacher Preparation


Nationally, it appears that there is an increased interest in teacher preparation.  With this in mind and the increase of distance learning opportunities, it’s time to take a look at the research available on the topic of teacher preparation and distance learning.  The research for ABLE is very limited in this area.  However, some information may be gleaned from the 2004 research, “The Effects of Distance Education on K-12 Student Outcomes:  A Meta-Analysis.”      


Teacher Preparation

The article asks: 

How will designers and managers of K–12 distance education programs make better decisions in order to design and deliver a more effective program? One factor warranting special consideration in assessing the effectiveness of virtual schooling is teacher quality. In classrooms, teacher effectiveness is a strong determiner of differences in student learning, far outweighing differences in class size and heterogeneity (Darling-Hammond, 2000). Based on the similarities in student outcomes between distance and classroom learning, there is every reason to expect that teacher preparation is critical in distance education. However, there has been very little formal preparation available addressing the unique nature of online instruction and very little time for teachers to develop their expertise as online instructors. As professional development becomes more common and expertise grows, student success is likely to grow as well.


Cavanaugh, Cathy; Gillan, Kathy Jo; Kromrey, Jeff; Hess, Melinda; Blomeyer, Robert.  The Effects of Distance Education on K-12 Student Outcomes:  A Meta-Analysis, October 2004,

From the statement above, the implication is that teacher quality improves with teacher preparation.   



Any thoughts? 

·       Email:  Click here to email MTLINCS.  OR

·       Blog:  Click here to post on the DL Blog.  


2.   ESL:  CAELA Brief on Evidence-Based, Student-Centered Instructional Practices


Click here  to access the article. 

This brief discusses evidence-based and student-centered instruction, gives examples of instructional approaches that are supported by evidence, and describes how teachers of adults learning English as a second language can work together in learning communities to increase their knowledge of and skills with student-centered instructional practices that are evidence-based.

3.   Health Literacy:  Toolkit Available


Click here  to access the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is proud to announce the publication of the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. The toolkit is based on the principles of universal precautions, or specific actions that providers can take to make health information more understandable for all patients. It is designed to be used by all levels of staff in practices providing primary care for adults and/or pediatric patients.

 4.   Math: Teacher Training – U.S. Teachers not Well Prepared To Teach Mathematics


Click here  to access Carnegie article about a new international study.  The study of future teachers in 16 countries reveals mathematics teacher preparation jeopardizes student learning of math.  (Thanks to Valerie Otto for sending the link.)

“Our future teachers are getting weak training mathematically and are not prepared to teach the demanding curriculum needed for U.S. students to compete internationally,” said William Schmidt, Ph.D., MSU Distinguished Professor of Education and Statistics, who directed the Study. 

5.   Reading: Teacher Training - What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching about Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning

Click here  to access research about teaching reading instruction.  There are implications for ABLE reading instruction. 

We found that the two newest components of good reading instruction – phonemic awareness and fluency – were broached in the fewest classes, just one in 20 ... p. 27

6.   Reading: Gender and Reading - Article plus International Reading Association Reading Radio Broadcast


Don’t Read Too Much into Boys’ Verbal Scores

Click here to access “Don't Read Too Much Into Boys' Verbal Scores.”

Boys' poorer reading levels in a recent study are feeding a troubling tendency to lower literacy expectations for boys, say Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett. It's just as destructive as the old myth about girls' math inferiority.




Why Boys Lag Girls in Reading


Click here  to listen to “Why Boys Lag Girls in Reading.”

Why do boys lag girls in reading and what can we do about it? Listen as literacy expert William G. Brozo discusses the overwhelming evidence of a gender gap between boys and girls in reading that is an accelerating international phenomenon. Brozo explores how current notions of masculinity may be contributing factors and shares field-tested strategies for closing the gap."  (About 12 minutes in length)


7.   War and Its Impact on the Adult Education Classroom


Click here to access The Change Agent article “Coming Home from War.”

How does war impact the adult education classroom? Veterans and refugees, as well as family members of veterans and refugees, make up a significant portion of students in adult education. According to the 2000 census, veterans of U.S. wars made up one-eighth of the adult population. Although there is no official count of war refugees in adult education classes, anecdotal evidence suggests that a large subset of immigrants and refugees in this country experienced war in their country of origin.


P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!


Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101