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Assignment Analysis: Intersections Between Instructional Power and Learner Variability

Thursday, December 12, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST

Assignment Analysis

Presented by Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D., Senior Practice Associate, The Education Trust; and Medha Tare, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise
Hosted by Barbara Pape, Communications Director, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise Global

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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Teachers have tremendous instructional power to make decisions about what and how students learn (Reed Marshall, 2017). This power is exercised in myriad ways that influence the access students have to a rigorous education. Additionally, teachers’ knowledge about their students is often influenced by biases that exist as part of the human experience. This edWebinar will make connections between instructional power, teacher’s decision making, and how these factors influence the ways teachers assign work to their students.

Research by The Education Trust (2015, 2016) and TNTP (2018) have revealed that the quality of assignments many students receive is far below grade-level standards required for students to meet the demands of college and career. Additionally, this research has revealed that teachers, by and large, do not believe that the students they educate are capable of handling rigorous classwork. Such beliefs, as much research has demonstrated, negatively influence the degree to which students have opportunities to engage with high-challenge work and more importantly, the belief systems teachers have about their students directly affect whether students have access to relevant assignments and are pushed toward high levels of achievement.

In this edWebinar:

  • Better understand why classroom assignments are a powerful lens for viewing teaching and learning.
  • Discover why choice and relevancy are two powerful levers for engaging learners that educators can use to increase student motivation and engagement.
  • Review research on student motivation and how it connects to other factors of learning
  • See examples of homework assignments that keep expectations high for all students.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to teachers and school and district leaders of all grade levels.


Tanji Reed MarshallAbout the Presenters

Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D., is the senior practice associate for P-12 literacy at Ed Trust. She works on the organization’s Equity in Motion practice team, focused on literacy assignment analysis work. Prior to joining Ed Trust, Dr. Reed Marshall worked in the Office of Academic Programs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to prepare the school of education’s accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. She also has served as Associate Superintendent of Curriculum & Camp Instruction – Literacy Specialist in North Carolina’s Charlotte–Mecklenburg Schools, as a Title I literacy coach, and as an elementary and middle school classroom teacher. Dr. Reed Marshall holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on teacher practice with high-achieving African American students, from Virginia Tech; a master’s degree in English education, with a focus on critical literacy, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College.


Medha TareMedha Tare, Ph.D., has more than ten years of experience conducting applied research in the learning sciences. She enjoys translating research to non-academic audiences so it can be used by practitioners in the classroom and by the learners themselves. She is currently the senior research scientist for the Learner Variability Project, leading the synthesis of research on learners’ strengths and challenges and evaluating the impact of the project’s work on learners across the country. She holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan.


Barbara PapeAbout the Host

Barbara Pape is the communications director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise Global (DPG). She has 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, writing, and policy analysis, primarily in education. Previously, she served as the executive producer of the award-winning Teaching & Learning conference, sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she developed content and oversaw outreach and communications. As a writer, she has written for numerous publications, including Harvard University, the National Education Goals Panel (U.S. Department of Education) and Parents magazine. Barbara also served as editor and publisher of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. She served on the Advisory Board of the Kennedy Center’s Intersection of Arts Education and Special Education Committee, serves as a judge for the Miliken-Penn Graduate School of Education Business Plan competition, and is on the Boards at the Education Writers Association and Potentia. She earned an Ed.M. at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and launched her career as a middle school language arts teacher.


Join the Personalize Learning for Learner Variability community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital PromiseDigital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
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