What is the best way to make sure students are getting the most out of the curriculum in a classroom?
One answer might be to have teachers give students specific instruction based on the subject matter they’re learning.
But there’s another way to go about it.
In a recent article for Education Week, researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University at Buffalo found that teachers may have an even more powerful impact on students’ learning than their curriculum does.
The researchers used data from nearly 1,500 high school students to track the students’ progress over three years.
In that time, the students were taught to use “contextual” knowledge, or what they were learning to understand, as a way to create context around their learning.
“There’s this idea that students have to understand everything in order to do well in the classroom,” said Katherine S. Smith, the author of the article.
“What happens when teachers are really good at context?
They can make students more proficient and they can also help students with learning styles and understand different kinds of learning.”
For example, the study found that students in the most context-aware schools performed at a higher level on math, reading, science, and reading comprehension tests.
However, they also tended to be more likely to struggle in the science class, a class that had the lowest scores.
And they were also more likely than their peers to struggle with math, science and reading questions, and less likely to pass.
The results were similar in reading, writing, and math.
The study also found that teaching students the same material over and over again, rather than a single instruction, had a significant effect on students overall.
It’s important to note that the study used data on all the students, not just the context-intelligents.
The research also focused on students in grades 9 through 12, and the data shows that the same factors that make students successful in different subjects also make them successful in other subjects as well.
For example: Students who are taught in context-based instruction performed significantly better in reading and science than their counterparts who were taught by traditional instruction.
Students who were given context-guided instruction performed more poorly in math than their classmates.
And students who were instructed in context by teachers with specific instruction performed at lower levels on reading and math tests than their other classmates.
Students in context were also significantly more likely not to pass the math test than students in traditional instruction, and more likely then to fail math.
So students in context might benefit more from specific instruction.
The lesson: It’s best to give students a specific instruction to help them understand their learning, rather then having them learn from a book.
Smith said it’s important for educators to do their homework and make sure they’re building context in their classes.
“We want students to understand the context that is necessary for the learning to be successful,” she said.
Smith’s work is not the first to suggest that context-informed instruction can help students, and it’s not the only one.
Earlier this year, for example, researchers in Australia found that context helped students perform better on math tests, and teachers were more effective in getting students to do better on science tests.
But Smith said that context also has a bigger impact on how students learn and understand a topic.
For one thing, she said, it’s possible to use context to teach a subject in a way that students are better able to follow.
“When you start to give them context, they can do it better,” Smith said.
“You don’t have to give kids a book or explain everything.
You just have to make them think about it, and then you can put them in a situation where they are doing it, so that they are really engaging in the learning process.”
The next step in understanding the impact of context in teaching is to understand how it’s being used.
So far, the research has found that when students are given a specific learning plan, they’re more likely and able to keep up with the curriculum.
But when students aren’t given a plan, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
For instance, in one study, Smith and her colleagues asked high schoolers to learn about how a specific plant could be used to treat a deadly bacterial infection in a lab.
While students were learning about the plant, their teachers told them to focus on learning about a specific ingredient, which was the most important element of the plant.
Students also performed better in math and science tests when they were taught about the ingredient.
“If you’re teaching context, you need to have context,” Smith told Ars.
“The context you’re giving students is the context you want them to understand.”