New federal web site aims to link research with practice

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a new web site aimed at giving educators advice about effective teaching practices and examples of ways to implement these practices to improve student achievement. Called “Doing What Works,” the new site offers a user-friendly interface to help users quickly locate teaching practices that have been found effective by the department’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences, and similar organizations. In addition, it provides examples of possible ways this research can be used to help students reach their full potential. Teachers interested in successful strategies for helping English-language learners, for example, can watch a video of eight strategies that teachers at one school use to teach vocabulary. Coming soon, the department says, will be similar resources in such areas as early childhood education, high school reform, literacy, school restructuring, cognitive learning, and math and science. “Educators need to know what works, and this online library of resources will build a bridge from research to action,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in announcing the site. “It translates research-based practices into examples of tools that support and improve classroom instruction.”

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