Tell Us About - ASCD
Skip to main content
ascd logo

May 1, 2021

Tell Us About

Readers describe what area of education they want to see more practical research on.

Professional Learning

New Approaches to ESL Learning

English learners typically spend 30 minutes in ESL classrooms and the rest of the day in general education K–5 classrooms or in 6–12th grade core content classrooms, struggling to comprehend the content and required readings. There are two lines of research that need attention. First, evidence-based instructional strategies for incorporating language and literacy into core content areas need to be better disseminated and implemented in all classrooms, not just ESL classrooms. The first round of "sheltered instruction" was a compilation of activities that made sense years ago. It is time to take a second look at some emerging programs that are yielding better results. Second, for all teachers in a school to effectively implement new instructional approaches and shift toward assets-based views of ELs, schools need to institute comprehensive professional development programs that target these two issues. There are models for this type of professional development now; however, only a few schools and districts are committed to the long-term designs that are making a difference for ELs, striving readers, and all students in the school.

Margarita Calderon, professor emerita, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.

All About the Brain

The latest neuroscience behind how we learn and which instructional strategies rise above.

Dana Johnson, district math coach, Rutland City Public Schools, Rutland, Vermont

The Anti-Bias Classroom

As a graduate student on the cusp of my career as an inclusive elementary teacher, I am passionate about anti-bias education and social justice. Unfortunately, the more time I spend in schools, the more I realize this culture of commitment to anti-bias education does not always translate from my small college community to the real world of teaching. How can I sustain my goals once my teacher preparation program is over? I recognize that there is no quick fix to this issue and no tried-and-true practices to implement that will magically make me a social justice warrior. At the same time, if I am hired at a school that lacks the focus on equity I want to uphold, what are some things I can do to continue on this mission of creating an anti-bias classroom community? What practices should I consider, whose voices should I listen to, and what ideas should I be thinking about? I would love to see more practical research in this area.

Kelly Hustak, graduate student, inclusive childhood education, Nazareth College, Rochester, New York

Continuing Education

As a teacher in [the area home to] Texas's second largest economy, I have seen many of my at-risk high school students "disappear" to take on the responsibility of providing income for their families. For the future of our workforce and voting populace, what is being done to recapture [data on] some of these students who lack the education to move from hourly jobs into significant careers? College may not be a choice, but community colleges offer associate degrees for those who did not earn their high school diploma. I need to know my young adults are prepared to handle a world that does not recognize the inequities further exacerbated by unequal educational opportunities.

Kay Young, teacher, Mesquite ISD, Mesquite, Texas

Education Policy

Honest research critiquing school privatization and charter schools.

Dan Haley, educator, BPS, Orchard Park, New York

More About SEL

Programs that integrate social-emotional learning and well-being with the practice of metacognition, belonging, and purposeful living. It seems as though there are myriad programs that exist for each and every topic, but not many—or any—that address the basics of one and all, simultaneously. And none that are scaffolded to address them over one's lifetime. Yet, it is the practice and mastery of all working together that will likely lead to the best and most equitable outcomes.

Susan Newell, founder, The ONE Method, Alexandria, Virginia

COVID-Era Workload

I would like to see data that shows the time put in by teachers to prepare and deliver their lessons before and during COVID. I have not been able to find research that shows the amount of additional time spent. I would also be curious to know the extra amount of time teachers and administrators have spent in meetings before and during COVID. If our society actually saw the massive increase that I suspect is the case, perhaps they would be a little more understanding of how stressful the job is to our educators.

Aaron Smith, administrator, Chesapeake, Virginia

Discipline and Race

The discipline disadvantage on boys of all races. Boys are falling behind in schools.

Doug Smith, assistant superintendent, Wright City R-II SD, Wright City, Missouri

Want to add your own highlights and notes for this article to access later?