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Six factors that produce academically strong kids

Researchers recently spelled out factors that turn young minds of mush into solid students.

Guess what the number one factor is? Discipline! Apparently raising the bar to excellence and asking students to meet those expectations bears good fruit.

The College Fix has covered an aspect of this phenomenon before — no consequences for student misbehavior leads to classroom turmoil.

The new research was summarized recently in an article on Intellectual Takeout:

As the decline in education standards in Australia continues, new research conducted by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) offers a solution.

The study, headed by research fellow Blaise Joseph, examined 18 schools in disadvantaged areas around the country that boast consistent records of above-average academic performance. The study found six common factors across these school that accounted for strong academic results.

Interestingly, additional funding was not a factor. Instead, it was the resurfacing of old-fashioned principles including good discipline, experienced leadership, high expectations, explicit teaching, comprehensive early reading instruction, and the effective use of student data that accounted for the schools’ healthy academic culture.

These schools also “tended to shun the increasingly trendy inquiry-based teaching model,” a “constructivist approach” which also goes by the buzz names “project-based learning,” “design thinking,” and “discovery-based learning.”

Located in areas of the lowest socio-economic quartile, the schools have been mostly outperforming comparable schools.

Of the six factors indicating success, the strongest across all the schools was good discipline. This makes sense in light of another study conducted five years ago by the OECD which recorded that 40 percent of students found classrooms noisy and disorderly, and 20 percent of students found them so disruptive they could not properly do their work.

Read the full article.

MORE: Is colorblindness really a bad philosophy?

IMAGE: Merrimack College / Flickr

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