The RESEARCH

Human Restoration Project explores a variety of progressive thought to move all learners toward humanity through passion, service, and empowerment.

We recommend starting with writings by any of these educators: Linda Darling-Hammond, John Dewey, Susan Engel, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, John Holt, bell hooks, Alfie Kohn, Jonathan Kozol, Deborah Meier, Maria Montessori, and Jean Piaget. We welcome criticism and remain open to dialogue on expanding our viewpoints further.

Interested in crowdsourcing the largest collection of progressive education research on the Internet? Submit a book, article, or research study. Please report broken links to us. All research should be looked at through a critical lens, many research studies fail to be replicated or have mixed results.

Not sure where to start? Look for the UFO icon! These are great introductory resources to this concept.

we recommend...

Radical Teacher, Academic Journal

Book of the Month

University of Pittsburgh

N.D.

A socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal founded in 1975. Since 2013, the entire publication is accessible for free online, double peer-reviewed, and filled with in-depth articles.
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Are Teens Adopting Adults’ Stress Habits?

APA

2013

Social Emotional Learning
Research Study
$

Disturbing large-scale data showcases how American teenagers are showing increased stress leading to, and originating from, unhealthy lifestyles.

From Boutique to Big Box

Acker

2013

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

A well-documented dissertation that showcases how schools must scale progressive practices (in this case Montessori) through strong teacher support.

Assessment Matters: Self-Assessment and Peer Assessment

Ako

2012

Ungrading
Research Study
$

Guides both peer- and self- assessment, showcasing best practice in both of its utilizations. The overview emphasizes the need for change in the core structure of teaching - placing more responsibility on learners rather than the instructor.

High School GPAs and ACT Scores as Predictors of College Completion: Examining Assumptions About Consistency Across High Schools

Allensworth & Clark

2020

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Research Study
$

Research indicates that ACT test results are inconsistent with the chance of college completion, yet HSGPAs are much more consistent.

(Digital) Media as Critical Pedagogy

Alvarez

2019

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

On how digital media can be used to promote student voice and revolutionize the classroom, and how individualized technology platforms (e.g. MOOCs) do the complete opposite.

Classrooms: Goals, Structures, and Student Motivation

Ames

1992

Purpose-Finding
Article
$

Details how a focus on purposeful and meaningful education naturally lends itself to mastery and student motivation.

The Effect of High-Stakes Testing on Student Motivation and Learning

Amrein & Berliner

2003

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Research Study
$

Study shows that high-stakes testing has made no improvement to students' learning, actually demotivating and hurting outcomes.

The Impact of High-Stakes Tests on Student Academic Performance

Amrein & Berliner

2002

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Research Study
$

A review of NAEP, AP, SAT, and ACT scores finds inconclusive evidence that these tests actually improve student achievement.

Motivation and Cheating During Adolescence

Anderman et. al.

1997

Ungrading
Research Study
$

Study shows that students who see assessment as a test of performance and extrinsic incentives, rather than mastery and improvement, are more likely to cheat.

When Schooling Meets Policing

Anderson

2015

Restorative Justice
Article
$

A history of SRO-employment in schooling and the dangers of police officer involvement in school institutions.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

Anderson

2016

Book of the Month
Book
$

Explores white rage through the most explosive periods in America’s racial history, which the reader comes to understand through the brutal clarity and consistent facts of the historical narrative.

Growth in Reading and How Children Spend Their Time Outside of School

Anderson et. al.

1998

Promoting Literacy
Research Study
$

Study shows the impact on learning and achievement associating with book reading and implores teachers to issue more reading outside of school (note: not forced reading of certain things.)

Ideology and United States History Textbooks

Anyon

1979

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

Demonstrates how US textbooks promote certain groups and exclude others.

Social Class and School Knowledge

Anyon

1981

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Demonstrates the different verbiage, lessons, and pedagogical styles between lower, middle, and upper class elementary schools.

Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work

Anyon

1980

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Research Study
$

Research indicating that students from different social class elementary schools were prepared for different worlds of work.

Democratic Schools (2nd ed)

Apple

2007

Public Education
Book
$

Demonstrates steps to create building- or system-wide focuses on a critical and democratic education.

Education, Politics, and Social Transformation

Apple

2006

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Summary of how identity and social empowerment connect with (for positive and negative reasons) school.

Ideology and Curriculum, 4th Ed.

Apple

2018

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Showcases the relationship between cultural and economic power in education.

Postmodern Education: Politics, Culture, and Social Criticism

Aronowitz & Giroux

1990

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Political, social, and cultural criticisms to offer ways of changing lives through education.

Stop the Clock: Ending the Tyranny of Time in Education

Aronson

1995

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

A short work that examines how bell schedules are inadequate in the US, and suggestions to change them.

The Emotional Costs of Parents’ Conditional Regard: A Self-Determination Theory Analysis

Assor et. al.

2004

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

Demonstrates that parents who show conditional love toward their children (e.g. withdrawing and giving based on their behavior) saw strong short-term results, but incredibly negative long-term results toward self-directed regulation and behavior.

Making Meaning, Making Change: Participatory Curriculum Development for Adult ESL Literacy

Auerbach

1992

Second Language Acquisition
Article
$

Follows a group of adult learners through participatory curriculum development.

Wrong Answer

Aviv

2014

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

A story of a school rejecting the labeling of high-stakes accountability reform.

"You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!" AND 18 OTHER MYTHS ABOUT TEACHERS, TEACHERS UNIONS, AND PUBLIC EDUCATION

Ayers et. al.

2018

Book of the Month
Book
$

Provides a quick-to-understand, ready-to-read breakdown of the common assaults against public education and its workers.

Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools

Ayers et. al.

2001

Restorative Justice
Book
$

An analysis of "zero tolerance policies" and their danger to students, and increased initiatives on militarization of schooling.

To Teach: The Journey, in Comics

Ayers, Alexander-Tanner

2015

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

A graphic novel of what it means to be a "good" teacher, subverting the idea that teachers are superheroes.

“They Thought the World Was Flat?”

Bain

2005

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

A history educator comments how to pair traditional history standards, which often exclude and focus on memorization, by analyzing the curriculum and the story education wants to tell.

National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling

Baker & LeTendre

2005

Eliminating Homework
Book
$

Study finds that American middle school students have more homework than their peers in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. However, this did not correlate with any achievement: test scores were highest for countries assigning the least homework (Denmark, Czech Republic) and lowest for those with the most (Iran, Thailand.)

A Talk to Teachers

Baldwin

1963

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

James Baldwin describes to teachers how to speak to children about the myths and truths about US history.

Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation

Bale & Knopp (editors)

2012

Public Education
Book
$

A series of essays by various teachers on the corporate control of education.

Homework Does Not Belong on the Agenda for Educational Reform

Barber

1989

Eliminating Homework
Article
$

Summarizes the argument against the idea that homework raises achievement and testing scores (prior to the implementation of No Child Left Behind.)

Less-structured time in children's daily lives predicts self-directed executive functioning

Barker et. al.

2014

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

Study shows how children, when left alone to develop their own structure, are better at self-directed processes in the future.

What’s at Stake in High-Stakes Testing: Teachers and Parents Speak Out

Barksdale-Ladd & Thomas

2000

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

Series of interviews with teachers and parents, finding "[t]eachers and parents were unanimous about (a) the intense stress on all involved, (b) the undermining of meaningful instruction and learning, and (c) the high stakes involved."

From Communication to Curriculum

Barnes

1992

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

Analyzing the use of conversation as a learning tool between teacher and student, which "rejects the view that some children fail in school because they have difficulty with language, emphasizing instead the inhibiting effects of rigid and formalized methods of teaching."

Rejecting the Huxley Supposition: Using Technology in the Classroom for Real Transformative Learning

Barnett

2019

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Connects Aldous Huxley and technological progress to transform learning to new heights.

What do you value in your space and how do values guide your practice?

Barnett

2020

Self-Determination
Article
$

An introduction to maker-space pedagogies and the value of letting students guide their learning in a learning space.

Young children's resolution of distress through play

Barnett

1984

Free Play
Article
$

Preschool children on their first day of school given the opportunity for free play were found to decrease their distress relative to children in more structured conditions.

Play, pleasure, and pain: The reduction of anxiety through play

Barnett & Storm

1981

Free Play
Research Study
$

"An explanation to account for play behaviors which reflect the reenactment of an unpleasant event has been derived from the view that playful experiences serve to reduce anxiety."

Curriculum Integration: Designing the Core of Democratic Education

Beane

1997

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

A look at how schools can integrate all subjects into one core curriculum through the use of a democratic education.

The Relations of Learning and Grade Orientations to Academic Performance

Beck et. al.

1991

Ungrading
Research Study
$

Study that showcases how people with a mindset of "grading orientation" (focused on grades) perform worse in terms of GPA and general psychology testing as opposed to those with a "learning orientation" (focused on learning.)

Childhood collecting in nature: quality experience in important places

Beery

2016

Experiential Learning
Research Study
$

Showcases how important it is for a child to be exposed to nature by family experiences and distance to green spaces.

Homework Doesn’t Help

Begley

1998

Eliminating Homework
Article
$

A look at how the “achievement” that homework provides (marginal test score improvement in certain grades) is not worth the emotional, social, and motivational outcomes of assignment.

Portfolios: Process and Product

Belanoff & Dickson (editors)

1991

Ungrading
Book
$

Various articles on the shift to portfolio assessment in education.

Project-Based Learning for the 21st Century: Skills for the Future

Bell

2010

Experiential Learning
Article
$

An overview of how project-based learning can be used for various "soft skill" sets.

National survey: Students’ feelings about high school are mostly negative

Belli

2020

General Progressive Pedagogy
Research Study
$

Findings indicate that 75% of all students, when asked an open-ended question about school, had negative feelings, with an emphasis on feeling tired.

Physical education teachers’ perceptions about the effectiveness and acceptability of strategies used to increase relevance and choice for students in physical education classes

Bennie et. al.

2017

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

PE teachers introduced to SDE curriculum felt that not only did SDE increase students’ physical activity, they were more engaged and learned more.

Quality of Learning With an Active Versus Passive Motivational Set

Benware & Deci

1984

Ungrading
Research Study
$

Presents data that students who knew they were going to teach information (active learning) were more motivated, learned more, and felt more engaged than those who simply passively received information.

Learning to Teach and Critical Pedagogy: Struggling with a "Do as I Say, Not as I Do" Pedagogy

Berchini

2014

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Addresses the collisions of power in teaching education when establishing critical pedagogy and praxis.

Our Impoverished View of Educational Reform

Berliner

2006

Public Education
Article
$

Explains the specific issues of poverty and schooling in the United States, and how its a greater problem than other industrialized countries.

Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success

Berliner

2009

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Research Study
$

Overview of how poverty negatively impacts a students' ability to learn.

‘Schools are killing curiosity’: why we need to stop telling children to shut up and learn

Berliner

2020

Cooperation and Soft Skills
Research Study
$

Curiosity is shown as closely linked to academic success, being particularly important for low-SES students.

The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools

Berliner & Biddle

1995

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

Argues that the ideas presented in A Nation at Risk highlight the incorrect problems with America's schools, showcasing alternative problems.

On failure

Biber

2019

Ungrading
Article
$

A teacher reflects on the idea of a "failing grade."

Teaching Anti-Racism Isn’t “Progressive.” It’s Essential.

Biber

2020

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

Recognizing that in order to be a progressive educator, all must be explicitly anti-racist.

The Real World

Biber

2019

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Counteracts the notion of what "the real world" is, and how that term is used in education.

“Why “What Works” Won’t Work: Evidence-Based Practice and the Democratic Deficit in Educational Research”

Biesta

2007

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Biesta unpacks the criticisms and limits of “what works” in what we call evidence-based educational research and practice to understand why “the dynamics of education are fundamentally different from the dynamics, of, say, potato growing or chemistry” and calls for a move toward a “values-based” model of education.

Inside the Classroom: Social Vision and Critical Pedagogy

Bigelow

1990

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

An exploration of studying rights and oppression within the classroom.

Student Leadership: A Review of Effective Practice

Black et. al.

2014

General Progressive Pedagogy
Research Study
$

A review of practices regarding student leadership in educational settings.

We Need LGBTQ-Affirming Learning Environments in Person or Otherwise

Blanchard

2021

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

This article demonstrates the reasoning and practical ways to build inclusive, safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF HIGH-STAKES TESTING

Blazer

2011

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Research Study
$

Review of research demonstrating how high stakes testing leads to decreased performance and increased stressed, especially for students of color.

Literacy, Democracy, and the Pledge of Allegiance

Bloome et. al.

1993

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

An analysis of the perceived/real forced practice of the Pledge of Allegiance within schooling.

Motivating Project-Based Learning: Sustaining the Doing, Supporting the Learning

Blumenfeld et. al.

1991

Experiential Learning
Research Study
$

A full review of project-based learning, its importance to education and motivation, and how to incorporate it into a classroom.

Combining traditional and new literacies in a 21st-century writing workshop

Bogard & McMackin

2012

Promoting Literacy
Article
$

Documents the processes used to explore digital storytelling or “multimodal storytelling,”

The Double-edged Sword of Pedagogy: Modeling the Effect of Pedagogical Contexts on Preschoolers’ Exploratory Play

Bonawitz et. al.

2011

Free Play
Research Study
$

Demonstrates how children are likely to learn a lesson through guided exploratory play, but less likely to learn any other topics if consistently guided.

Negotiating the Curriculum Educating For The 21st Century

Boomer et. al.

1992

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

On how to negotiate curriculum between student and teacher to have more progressive learning experiences.

Can PBIS Build Justice Rather Than Merely Restore Order?

Bornstein

2017

Restorative Justice
Research Study
$

Presents qualitative research around the use of PBIS & proposes more liberatory practices for PBIS that interrupt dominant culture discourses of normal behavior and power, and hold promise for establishing justice, rather than simply reinstating order.

Schooling in Capitalist America

Bowles & Gintis

2011

Public Education
Book
$

For use of radical educators to recognize the systemic undermining of education.

The Influence of School Administrators on Teacher Retention Decisions

Boyd et. al.

2019

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

Teacher autonomy and support from administrators and simply having great leaders is found to be one of the most valuable indicators for teacher retention.

Cooperative Learning and the Collaborative School

Brandt (editor)

1991

Cooperation and Soft Skills
Article
$

A series of articles on the importance of cooperative learning and its implication for society at large.

Gallup Student Poll Finds Engagement in School Dropping by Grade Level

Brennamon

2016

General Progressive Pedagogy
Research Study
$

A 2016 Gallup survey, “found that only half of adolescents report feeling engaged in school, and a fifth are actively disengaged. About 10 percent of students are classified as both disengaged and discouraged.”

The Effects of Mindfulness on Students' Attention

Bringus

2016

Social Emotional Learning
Research Study
$

Although data showed that students didn't necessarily pay attention more using mindfulness techniques (which may be the implementation of the study), students demonstrated a desire for these techniques taught.

In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms

Brooks & Brooks

1999

Book of the Month
Book
$

Frames the present debate surrounding student learning, testing, and the broader standardized reform movement.

Transforming schools into communities of thinking and learning about serious matters

Brown

1997

Experiential Learning
Research Study
$

Study demonstrates students learning scientific principles through hands-on, inquiry-based, environmental-based learning.

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania

Bruni

2015

Book of the Month
Book
$

Lays out a remarkable case against the ridiculous nature of college admissions programs and the dangerous pathways it leads our children on.

Breaking all the rules: Radically reinventing moral education through compassionate discipline

Bryant & McCamish

2015

Restorative Justice
Article
$

Details a shift from traditional discipline systems to one of dialogue. Provides a detailed analysis of discipline research and how traditionalist structures do not work.

Grades as the Gatekeeper to Privilege in Schools

Buchanan

2021

Ungrading
Article
$

How the sorting structure of grades leads to inequitable outcomes and reinforces privilege.

The Dark Underbelly of School Remediation

Buchanan

2021

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

How "research-backed" remediation hurts students, especially in low-income communities.

Resurrecting Free Play in Young Children: Looking Beyond Fitness and Fatness to Attention, Affiliation, and Affect

Burdette & Whitaker

2005

Free Play
Article
$

"We argue that the current emphasis on increasing physical activity in young children to address the problem of obesity, while an important public health agenda, might be more successful if the exposure (physical activity or exercise) were promoted with different language (play) and if a different set of outcomes were emphasized (aspects of child well-being other than physical health)."

Pathways to Student Motivation: A Meta-Analysis of Antecedents of Autonomous and Controlled Motivations

Bureau et. al.

2021

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

A meta-analysis demonstrating that teacher autonomy led to student needs and self-determined motivation strongly than parental autonomy support.

Enhancing and Undermining Intrinsic Motivation: The Effects of Task-Involving and Ego-Involving Evaluation of Interest and Performance

Butler

1988

Ungrading
Research Study
$

Similar to Butler's first study, no grades with purely written or oral comments for improvement continued motivation for all students, whereas only students who received high grades for graded assessment had continued motivation.

Task-Involving and Ego-Involving Properties of Evaluation: Effects of Different Feedback Conditions on Motivational Perceptions, Interest, and Performance

Butler

1987

Ungrading
Research Study
$

When giving feedback, no grades with purely written or oral comments for improvement had the highest impact on continued motivation of students.

Manufacturing Happy Citizens: How the Science and Industry of Happiness Control our Lives

Cabanas & Illouz

2019

Book of the Month
Book
$

Provides a convincing condemnation of "positive psychology", the relatively recent scientific study of happiness.

Constructivist Approaches to Learning in Science and Their Implications for Science Pedagogy: A Literature Review

Cakir

2008

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

This paper seeks an answer to the question of “What are some guiding principles of constructivist thinking that we must keep in mind when we consider our role as science teachers?”

“You Need to Be More Responsible”: How Math Homework Operates as a Status-Reinforcing Process in School

Calarco et. al.

2020

Eliminating Homework
Article
$

Demonstrates how homework simply reinforces the inequities in society.

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead

Callahan

2007

Ungrading
Book
$

An argument against the demonization of cheaters in America, the author provides a summary of why cheating occurs and how we can fix it.

Schooling and Work in the Democratic State

Carnoy & Levin

1985

Public Education
Book
$

Showcases the relationship between schooling and work, which rejects the capitalist and Marxist lens of schooling.

A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures

Cazden et. al.

1996

Promoting Literacy
Article
$

Presents a theoretical overview of the connections between the changing social environment facing students and teachers and a new approach to literacy pedagogy that they call "multiliteracies."

K-12 Employee Job Satisfaction Plummets as Stress and Worries Increase Regarding COVID-19 Safety and Personal Finances

Center for State and Local Government Excellence

2021

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform
Research Study
$

The vast majority of teacher respondents in a 2021 survey reported feeling stressed, high levels of burnout/fatigue, and substantial anxiety at work due to the pandemic.

School Food Advocacy Toolkit

Chef Ann Foundation

Org

General Progressive Pedagogy
Organization or Website
$

A wealth of resources to empower community members to advocate to change school lunch toward healthy, student-centered food.

Keeping Score

Chenoweth

2001

Promoting Literacy
Article
$

Overview of how competitive scoring of reading programs can diminish the reading goals of the program.

Billionaires vs. Babies: How Congress Favors the Rich Over Our Children and How We Can Fix It

Children's Defense Fund

2021

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

A focus on how billionaire wealth can be divested to care for America's youth.

Learning to Teach against the Grain

Cochran-Smith

1991

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

An article discussing the use of "teaching against the grain" for student teachers to reform schooling.

The Learning Child

Cohen

1988

Experiential Learning
Book
$

A fundamental text on child developmental psychology related to inquiry-based learning.

Awesome play: Awe increases preschooler’s exploration and discovery

Colantonio & Bonawitz

2018

Free Play
Research Study
$

Demonstrates the importance of "awe" to a child's learning.

Toolkit: The Foundations of Restorative Justice

Collins

2021

Restorative Justice
Article
$

An introduction to classroom restorative justice, with practical use for teachers.

Testing a Model of School Learning: Direct and Indirect Effects on Academic Achievement

Cool & Keith

1991

Eliminating Homework
Research Study
$

Motivation, ability, and quality of instruction were found to all have important outcomes to a student's success in school, however, homework was found to be negligible or even counterproductive.

Looking at Homework Differently

Corno

2000

Eliminating Homework
Article
$

Provides a host of evidence to not assume that homework is beneficial to all learners, and that optional assignments are better pedagogical practice.

Does Homework Really Improve Achievement?

Costley

2013

Eliminating Homework
Research Study
$

An analysis of many homework studies which finds that homework has marginal gains at best, and only at higher grade levels.

The role of purpose in life in healthy identity formation: A grounded model

Cotton Bronk

2012

Purpose-Finding
Article
$

Adolescents had incredibly close ties between their purpose and identity. When teenagers understood their place in the world, they took more purposeful actions and understood more about who they were.

Persevering with Positivity and Purpose: An Examination of Purpose Commitment and Positive Affect as Predictors of Grit

Cotton Bronk et. al.

2014

Purpose-Finding
Research Study
$

Grit, as in working hard to achieve one's goals, had substantial correlation with those who had life direction and commitment to a purpose.

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