NHSP Educational Guidelines & Pedagogy

Robert Marzano: Effective Research-Based Teaching Practices

NHS faculty utilizes research-based strategies in their classrooms to maximize the potential for more effective learning outcomes for students. The school uses the research and findings of Robert Marzano as a guideline for enhancing their teaching.

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Robert J. Marzano, PhD, is a leading researcher in education and has authored more than 30 books and 150 articles on topics such as instruction, assessment, writing and implementing standards, cognition, effective leadership, and school intervention. His books include The New Art and Science of Teaching and Effective Supervision, Classroom Instruction That Works, etc. His practical translations of the most current research and theory into classroom strategies are internationally known and widely practiced by both teachers and administrators.

Marzano has identified over 330 specific instructional strategies that focus on enhancing student outcomes and are categorized in ten key areas of providing and communicating clear learning goals, using assessments, conducting direct instruction lessons, conducting practicing and deepening lessons, conducting knowledge application lessons, using sound strategies in all types of lessons, using engagement strategies, implementing rules and procedures, building relationships, and communicating high expectations.

Since identifying these strategies out of the extensive research studies, Marzano has clarified that it is not these strategies alone that result in effective teaching and learning. Rather, a combination of 43 elements that relate to three segments of Feedback, Content, and Context. With these strategies as a guide for and confirmation of effective teacher practices, our teachers are equipped with the tools to continue advancing the progress of their students in developing academic knowledge and skills that will benefit them at New Horizon and beyond.

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Howard Gardner – Differentiation: Addressing Multiple Intelligences

Addressing the different ways children learn, faculty at New Horizon are able to advance student learning outcomes through a variety of modalities. Howard Gardner’s research on multiple intelligences helps teachers better understand our students and how they learn differently. His theory is based on the notion that humans have a range of intelligences and that strength in one intelligence does not predict strength (or weakness) in another intelligence Individuals have a number of relatively independent mental faculties (multiple intelligences) with some being stronger than others.

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Howard Gardner is a leading researcher and professor at Harvard University, and he has identified seven distinct intelligences by which students learn distinctively. The intelligences are as follows: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal, and naturalist. He believes that the broad spectrum of students would be better served if disciplines could be presented in a number of ways and learning could be assessed through a variety of means. He recommends that teachers individualize their teaching as much as possible by learning about each student and teach in ways they find comfortable and learn effectively. Also, teaching will be more productive if teachers can pluralize their teaching by teaching important materials in different ways, thus enhancing the possibility of reaching all students. Some examples of how to work in the classroom to address different intelligences can be found below:

  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to analyze information and produce work that involves oral and written language, such as speeches, books, and emails. This may involve highly developed auditory skills with a higher interest in reading, playing word games, and making up poetry or stories.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence describes the ability to develop equations and proofs, make calculations, and solve abstract problems. This involves thinking conceptually, abstractly, and being able to see and explore patterns and relationships. Teaching can include logic games, investigations, mysteries, experiments, posing big picture concepts. Students need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details.
  • Visual-spatial intelligence allows people to comprehend maps and other types of graphical information. This involves being aware of one’s environment and being interested in drawing, puzzles, and daydreaming. Learning through drawings and verbal and physical imagery. Tools may include models, graphics, charts, pictures, 3-D modeling, video, multimedia, etc.
  • Musical intelligence enables individuals to produce and make meaning of different types of sound. Individuals may show greater sensitivity to rhythm and sound both in terms of music and sensitivity to sounds in their environments. Students benefit from turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, creating songs with content. Tools may include musical instruments, music, and multimedia.
  • Naturalistic intelligence refers to the ability to identify and distinguish among different types of plants, animals, and weather formations found in the natural world.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails using one’s own body to create products or solve problems. This involves a keen sense of body awareness with an interest in movement, making things, and touching. Communication through body language and being taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, and role-play characterize this intelligence. Tools include equipment and real objects.
  • Interpersonal intelligence reflects an ability to recognize and understand other people’s moods, desires, motivations, and intentions. This involves learning through interaction. Teaching for this intelligence may include group activities, dialogues, etc.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence refers to people’s ability to recognize and assess those same characteristics within themselves. These learners may shy away from others and are more in tune with their inner feelings and intuition. They may also have strong will, confidence, and opinions. They can be taught through independent study and introspection, and teaching may include books, creative materials, journals, privacy, and time.
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Responsive Classroom

NHS uses the Responsive Classroom® approach to teaching and learning in all grade levels. This is a holistic approach that integrates academics and social-emotional skills for greater learning outcomes. The goal is to merge Responsive Classroom guiding principles (of having a balanced social-emotional and academic curriculum; recognizing that how students learn is as important as what they learn; cognitive growth occurs through social interaction; students need to learn Read Morethe skills of cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control; we need to know our students individually, culturally, and developmentally; it is important to know the families of our students; and have a positive adult community that works together) with teaching practices (that include teacher language, interactive modeling, logical consequences, and interactive learning structures). Read Less

Common Core Standards

Building on the best of existing state standards, the Common Core State Standards for Reading and Math provide clear and consistent learning goals to help prepare students for college, career, and life. The standards clearly demonstrate what students are expected to learn at each grade level, so that every teacher and parent can understand and support their learning. Our Reading, Language Arts, and Math curricula are Common Core aligned.

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The standards are:

  • Research and evidence based
  • Clear, understandable, and consistent
  • Aligned with college and career expectations
  • Based on rigorous content and the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills
  • Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
  • Informed by other top-performing countries to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society

NHS uses these standards to prepare students to enter a world in which colleges and businesses are demanding more than ever before. The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. Students are challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to and analyze what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.

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Science Standards

The school uses the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in grades K-5. These standards focus on critical thinking, experiential learning, engineering concepts, and design thinking. Grades 6-8 use the intensive single-subject Glencoe iScience series, which also utilize components of NGSS, in preparation for rigorous high school requirements. Both curricula provide an in-depth, collaborative, and project-based learning experience for our students that encourage them to relate the science concepts to the world around them and motivate their science achievement.

21st Century Skills

To better prepare our students for a complex, ever-changing, and technology-dependent world, the NHS educational program goes beyond the basics of teaching principles and facts in the core subjects and strives to challenge and inspire students in their learning. Its goal is to equip each student with the set of skills necessary for succeeding in the 21st Century. Students need to be able to think and work creatively in both digital and non-digital environments to develop unique and useful solutions. Read MoreThey need to be able to think critically and have the aptitude to evaluate, synthesize, and apply a variety of ideas and information independently. They need to have the ability to collaborate seamlessly in both physical and virtual spaces with real and virtual partners, locally and globally. And they must be able to communicate effectively, not just with written text or speech but also in multiple multimedia, digital formats. The school’s a rich academic program with a focus on STEM education fosters the development and growth of these critical skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Read Less