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. Further, we highlight books each month that best illustrate progressive practice.
Please report broken links to us. Note: all research should be looked at through a critical lens, many research studies fail to be replicated or have mixed results.
A well-documented dissertation that showcases how schools must scale progressive practices (in this case Montessori) through strong teacher support.
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.
Research indicates that ACT test results are inconsistent with the chance of college completion, yet HSGPAs are much more consistent.
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.
Details how a focus on purposeful and meaningful education naturally lends itself to mastery and student motivation.
Study shows that high-stakes testing has made no improvement to students' learning, actually demotivating and hurting outcomes.
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.
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.)
Summary of how identity and social empowerment connect with (for positive and negative reasons) school.
How to create a safe place at school for deep dialogue, inclusion, and meaning.
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.
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.
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.)
Summarizes the argument against the idea that homework raises achievement and testing scores (prior to the implementation of No Child Left Behind.)
Study shows how children, when left alone to develop their own structure, are better at self-directed processes in the future.
A look at how schools can integrate all subjects into one core curriculum through the use of a democratic education.
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.)
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.
An overview of how project-based learning can be used for various "soft skill" sets.
Findings indicate that 75% of all students, when asked an open-ended question about school, had negative feelings, with an emphasis on feeling tired.
PE teachers introduced to SDE curriculum felt that not only did SDE increase students’ physical activity, they were more engaged and learned more.
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.
Curiosity is shown as closely linked to academic success, being particularly important for low-SES students.
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.
A full review of project-based learning, its importance to education and motivation, and how to incorporate it into a classroom.
Teacher autonomy and support from administrators and simply having great leaders is found to be one of the most valuable indicators for teacher retention.
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.”
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.
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.
When giving feedback, no grades with purely written or oral comments for improvement had the highest impact on continued motivation of students.
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.
Demonstrates how homework simply reinforces the inequities in society.
Overview of how competitive scoring of reading programs can diminish the reading goals of the program.
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.
Provides a host of evidence to not assume that homework is beneficial to all learners, and that optional assignments are better pedagogical practice.
An analysis of many homework studies which finds that homework has marginal gains at best, and only at higher grade levels.
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.
Grit, as in working hard to achieve one's goals, had substantial correlation with those who had life direction and commitment to a purpose.
Guide on the meaning of mindfulness and its importance to everyone's lives.
A review of independent reading and school achievement, finding linkage across the board that letting students have free time to select and read books is beneficial for academic and motivational reasons.
An analysis of Freire’s teachings and concept of “humanization” - with a specific focus on how these theoretical ideas can be implemented in schools.
A summary of pitfalls in the research of purpose-finding as well as the current research that exists in the field.
Shows a connection between motivation, reading, and academic success in school.
An interactive graph on household income in the United States, demonstrating the effect on a child’s opportunities.
Despite the majority of educators participating in PD throughout the year, most are unhappy with its results. (Further, 57% of educators received 16 hours of PD or less over the last 12 months.)
An overview of self-determination theory and how its incorporation in school showcases a heavily increased level of learning.
Relates research between motivation and intrinsic objectives to deeper understanding of subject matter.
An inspiring look at how Dennison leads students towards positive outcomes through an authentic "human" education at the First Street School.
A fundamental overview of experiential learning and one of the originators of progressive education.
Research shows how grit is a general indicator of success. Notably, however, is that grit is defined as a individual's perseverance and a passion for a long-term goal.
A basis for “growth mindset” - a review of research studies showcasing how students who believe that intellectual abilities can be developed (rather than fixed) have higher achievement rates.
An essay supporting the need for children's inquiry, socialization, and natural curiosity to be embraced and focused on by schools.
Study shows how lack of peer acceptance in 4th grade led to increasingly negative academic outcomes to 6th grade (and possibly beyond), identifying a need for teachers to build relationships between students.
The basis of "critical pedagogy" - analyzing how the teacher/student relationship has become similar to colonization models, and our need for teachers to work "with" students rather than "at" students.
Further inquiry into the concept of "critical pedagogy" and how one's perspective and life situation needs a raised consciousness to understand and change the system they're apart of.
Details how the view of students as passive receivers of information can corrupt and misalign the goals of the education system.
Highlights the need for “humanization” of the classroom and how teachers can connect to students’ lived experiences.
A well-written account of how school programs that are meant to encourage reading actually hinder and destroy a love of reading, in-turn decreasing reading comprehension.
Outlines how students choose what their college major will be and based on findings, recommends that students are exposed to more internships & experiences to find greater purpose.
Demonstrates the need for quality professional development amongst a growing teacher shortage. Finds that only 11% of teachers have a say in their professional development.
An extensive look at what it means to work in “Good Work” - or work that has purpose, meaning, and intrinsically motivated goals. Written by a collection of experts on purpose.
An overview of how teachers should implement and inform equity-centered and progressive classrooms. (The attached link is Chapter 7, on how to inform and introduce students to this style of learning.)
Research finds that 9th and 10th grade students had greater life satisfaction and less depressive symptoms when they found meaning and love in their lives.
A rejection of the empirical concept of teaching, Giroux analyzes how students have become more like customers than learners.
Demonstrates through research that nonfiction reading is integral for student success, yet lacking in school. Suggestions are made to connect nonfiction reading to student interest.
Outlines the need and practice of play in schools, including its benefits and definition as "play."
Finds that teachers report the highest levels of occupational stress, the same as nurses, which impacts the classroom.
When two groups of students were presented with controlling vs. non-controlled learning, those in a non-controlled (and more autonomous) environment had greater learning outcomes and motivation.When two groups of students were presented with controlling vs. non-controlled learning, those in a non-controlled (and more autonomous) environment had greater learning outcomes and motivation.
This extensive study of ADHD students in school realizes that ADHD students are often not included or individualized for at school, nor are they readily accepted. It calls on the need for more individualization for every student.
Experiment demonstrates how when members of a group knew that their contribution would be visible and graded, they shared less relevant information, in comparison to someone who was not expecting a contribution grade
A breakdown of why standardized test prep does little to nothing in actually impacting achievement.
Notes that those who are proactive at finding their purpose in life have greater emotional/social well-being, as well as a greater agency in comparison to those whose purpose came about on its own.
An overview of Holt's methodology of best teaching practice, encouraging students to learn on their own.
This book analyzes how traditional education has led to the destruction of learning by students, ruining their natural sense of discovery they were born with.
Data from childhood to adulthood on how different levels of SES and race affect someone’s chances of economic mobility.
Interviews and analysis of how colleges no longer feel standardized tests are valid measures of academic progress, and are looking for ways to measure soft skills.
How to use restorative justice in the classroom with research to back up its practice.
A complete work over the use of labor-based grading contracts, a more holistic way of assessment in lieu of the traditional grading scale.
A free resource on promoting student social justice and activism, themed around experiential learning.
Discusses implementation of cooperative learning, which is shown to have greater outcomes in student achievement than competitive learning.
A detailed analysis of how relationship building - specifically a focus on social and emotional engagement - led to drastically increased academic performance.
A breakdown of how white supremacist curriculum hurts students and what we can do to change it.
Demonstrates how educators should understand and utilize different language between accommodations and modifications.
An overview of the need for curiosity in schools, featuring research and interviews with experts.
Showcases how anxiety can be crippling for students and have an impact on their academic performance (not ability). Teachers should empathize and build support structures to help students suffering from anxiety.
An overview of 186 research studies in K-12 that demonstrate “new racism” - hidden racism within schools in the curriculum and systemic practices.
Makes the case for students having a voice in the classroom, with research showcasing how this leads to greater learning outcomes.
Research that showcases how a student's focus on self-esteem (via congratulations or grades) takes away from learning outcomes as a whole as all focused is placed on the individual, and has little effect on a student's actual self-worth.
A look at how questioning is used in schools, including their intent and purpose.
An overview of progressive discipline practices and importance of proper classroom management techniques.
An internal look at how educators need to consider the task that students misbehave on, rather than how they're misbehaving.
A case is made that students should never be put in a competitive environment in schools.
Shows that standardization of learning for student outcomes as well as the focus on achieving rather than learning is detrimental to students.
Various facets that demonstrate how grading has a negative impact on learning.
A full overview of current research on experiential learning and the spaces that must be built to support it.
Makes the case that Common Core funding increased the undemocratic influence of venture philanthropies and for-profit organizations over public policy while also benefiting them through increased sales and revenue by providing tests, aligned curriculum, and other resources despite a lack of evidence that these resources improved teaching and learning or reduced achievement gaps.
A discussion of the disparities of schools between different classes and races in the United States.
A summary of research, evidence, and justification for eliminating homework.
A series of studies on how homework impacts family life which found that parents felt their children needed to complete homework, but it resulted in a loss of important family time. In addition, over 50% of subjects noted that homework led to stress, struggle, and serious familial arguments.
Research surrounding the importance of giving silent reading time during the day to students where one chooses if and what to read, including massive benefits in learning all around.