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. 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.

From Boutique to Big Box

Acker

2013

General

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

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 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 Equity

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

General

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

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

Motivation and Cheating During Adolescence

Anderman et. al.

1997

Ungrading

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.

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

Anderson et. al.

1998

Promoting Literacy

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.)

Education, Politics, and Social Transformation

Apple

2006

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

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

From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces: A New Way to Frame Dialogue Around Diversity and Social Justice

Arao & Clemens

2013

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

How to create a safe place at school for deep dialogue, inclusion, and meaning.

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

Assor et. al.

2004

Self-Determination

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.

“They Thought the World Was Flat?”

Bain

2005

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

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

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.)

Homework Does Not Belong on the Agenda for Educational Reform

Barber

1989

Eliminating Homework

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

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

Curriculum Integration: Designing the Core of Democratic Education

Beane

1997

General

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

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.)

Homework Doesn’t Help

Begley

1998

Eliminating Homework

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.

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

Bell

2010

Experiential Learning

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

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

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

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.

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

Berliner

2020

Cooperation and Soft Skills

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

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

Biesta

2007

General

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.

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

Blumenfeld et. al.

1991

Experiential Learning

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

The Influence of School Administrators on Teacher Retention Decisions

Boyd et. al.

2019

Self-Determination

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

Gallup Student Poll Finds Engagement in School Dropping by Grade Level

Brennamon

2016

General

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

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.

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

Bryant & McCamish

2015

Restorative Justice

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.

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

Butler

1987

Ungrading

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

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

Butler

1988

Ungrading

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.

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

Calarco et. al.

2020

Eliminating Homework

Demonstrates how homework simply reinforces the inequities in society.

Keeping Score

Chenoweth

2001

Promoting Literacy

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

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

Cool & Keith

1991

Eliminating Homework

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

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

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

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

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

De-stressing Stress: The Power of Mindsets and the Art of Stressing Mindfully

Crum & Lyddy

2013

Social Emotional Learning

Guide on the meaning of mindfulness and its importance to everyone's lives.

Independent Reading and School Achievement

Cullinan

2000

Promoting Literacy

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.

Paulo Freire: teaching for freedom and transformation: the philosophical influences on the work of Paulo Freire

Dale & Hyslop-Margison

2012

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

An analysis of Freire’s teachings and concept of “humanization” - with a specific focus on how these theoretical ideas can be implemented in schools.

The Development of Purpose During Adolescence

Damon et. al.

2003

Purpose-Finding

A summary of pitfalls in the research of purpose-finding as well as the current research that exists in the field.

Examining the Effects of a School-wide Reading Culture on the Engagement of Middle School Students

Daniels & Steres

2011

Promoting Literacy

Shows a connection between motivation, reading, and academic success in school.

The Opportunity Atlas

Darkhorse Analytics

N.D.

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

An interactive graph on household income in the United States, demonstrating the effect on a child’s opportunities.

Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad

Darling-Hammond

2009

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform

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.)

Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective

Deci

1991

Self-Determination

An overview of self-determination theory and how its incorporation in school showcases a heavily increased level of learning.

Facilitating Optimal Motivation and Psychological Well-Being Across Life’s Domains

Deci & Ryan

2008

Self-Determination

Relates research between motivation and intrinsic objectives to deeper understanding of subject matter.

The Lives of Children: The Story of the First Street School

Dennison

1999

General

An inspiring look at how Dennison leads students towards positive outcomes through an authentic "human" education at the First Street School.

Experience and Education

Dewey

1938

General

A fundamental overview of experiential learning and one of the originators of progressive education.

Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals

Duckworth

2007

Cooperation and Soft Skills

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.

Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed

Dweck & Yeager

2012

Cooperation and Soft Skills

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.

Children's Need to Know: Curiosity in Schools

Engel

2011

General

An essay supporting the need for children's inquiry, socialization, and natural curiosity to be embraced and focused on by schools.

Classroom Social Experiences as Predictors of Academic Performance

Flook et al.

2005

General

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.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Freire

1970

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

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.

Education for Critical Consciousness

Freire

1973

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

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.

The “Banking” Concept of Education

Freire

1968

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

Details how the view of students as passive receivers of information can corrupt and misalign the goals of the education system.

Pedagogy for liberation: dialogues on transforming education

Freire & Shor

1987

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

Highlights the need for “humanization” of the classroom and how teachers can connect to students’ lived experiences.

Readicide

Gallagher

2009

Promoting Literacy

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.

Where Students Get Valued Advice on What to Study in College

Gallop

2017

Experiential Learning

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.

The role of early career supports, continuous professional development, and learning communities in the teacher shortage

Garcia & Weiss

2019

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform

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.

GoodWork: Theory and Practice

Gardner

2010

Purpose-Finding

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.

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice

Gay

2010

General

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.)

Character strengths predict subjective well-being during adolescence

Gillham et. al.

2011

Purpose-Finding

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.

On Critical Pedagogy

Giroux

2011

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

A rejection of the empirical concept of teaching, Giroux analyzes how students have become more like customers than learners.

Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success

Goodwin & Miller

2013

Promoting Literacy

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.

The Value of Play I: The definition of play gives insights

Gray

2008

Free Play

Outlines the need and practice of play in schools, including its benefits and definition as "play."

Teacher Stress and Health

Greenberg et. al.

2016

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform

Finds that teachers report the highest levels of occupational stress, the same as nurses, which impacts the classroom.

Autonomy in Children's Learning: An Experimental and Individual Difference Investigation

Grolnick & Ryan

1987

Self-Determination

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.

Square pegs in round holes: The mainstream schooling experiences of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents

Harrington

2014

General

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.

Grading Hampers Cooperative Information Sharing in Group Problem Solving

Hayek

2015

Ungrading

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

Does Studying Student Data Really Raise Test Scores?

Hill

2020

Eliminating Standardized Testing

A breakdown of why standardized test prep does little to nothing in actually impacting achievement.

Understanding the pathways to purpose: Examining personality and well-being correlates across adulthood

Hill et. al.

2014

Purpose-Finding

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.

What do I do Monday?

Holt

1995

Self-Determination

An overview of Holt's methodology of best teaching practice, encouraging students to learn on their own.

How Children Fail

Holt

1964

Self-Determination

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.

Moving On Up: Teaching With the Data of Economic Mobility

Honner

2018

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

Data from childhood to adulthood on how different levels of SES and race affect someone’s chances of economic mobility.

Colleges Want Students with Character, But Can’t Measure It

Hoover

2014

Eliminating Standardized Testing

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.

Restorative Justice in Schools

Hopkins

2002

Restorative Justice

How to use restorative justice in the classroom with research to back up its practice.

Solutionary Guidebook

Institute for Humane Education

2020

Experiential Learning

A free resource on promoting student social justice and activism, themed around experiential learning.

Making Cooperative Learning Work

Johnson & Johnson

1999

Cooperation and Soft Skills

Discusses implementation of cooperative learning, which is shown to have greater outcomes in student achievement than competitive learning.

Community in the Classroom: An Approach to Curriculum and Instruction as a Means for the Development of Student Cognitive, Social and Emotional Engagement in a High School Classroom

Jones

2012

Cooperation and Soft Skills

A detailed analysis of how relationship building - specifically a focus on social and emotional engagement - led to drastically increased academic performance.

Ending Curriculum Violence

Jones

2020

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

A breakdown of how white supremacist curriculum hurts students and what we can do to change it.

In Providing Supports for Students, Language Matters

Jung

2017

General

Demonstrates how educators should understand and utilize different language between accommodations and modifications.

Schools Are Missing What Matters About Learning

Kaufman

2017

Cooperation and Soft Skills

An overview of the need for curiosity in schools, featuring research and interviews with experts.

Students with Anxiety in the Classroom: Educational Accommodations and Interventions

Killu & Crundwell

2016

General

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.

The “New Racism” of K-12 Schools: Centering Critical Research on Racism

Kohli et. al.

2017

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

An overview of 186 research studies in K-12 that demonstrate “new racism” - hidden racism within schools in the curriculum and systemic practices.

Choices for Children

Kohn

1993

General

Makes the case for students having a voice in the classroom, with research showcasing how this leads to greater learning outcomes.

The Truth About Self-Esteem

Kohn

1994

General

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.

Who's Asking?

Kohn

2015

General

A look at how questioning is used in schools, including their intent and purpose.

Beyond Discipline

Kohn

1996

Restorative Justice

An overview of progressive discipline practices and importance of proper classroom management techniques.

Discipline is the Problem - Not the Solution

Kohn

1995

Restorative Justice

An internal look at how educators need to consider the task that students misbehave on, rather than how they're misbehaving.

Is Competition Ever Appropriate in a Cooperative Classroom?

Kohn

1993

Cooperation and Soft Skills

A case is made that students should never be put in a competitive environment in schools.

The Trouble with Rubrics

Kohn

2006

Ungrading

Shows that standardization of learning for student outcomes as well as the focus on achieving rather than learning is detrimental to students.

The Case Against Grades

Kohn

2011

Ungrading

Various facets that demonstrate how grading has a negative impact on learning.

Experiential Learning Theory as a Guide for Experiential Educators in Higher Education

Kolb & Kolb

2017

Experiential Learning

A full overview of current research on experiential learning and the spaces that must be built to support it.

Smart Money? Philanthropic and Federal Funding for the Common Core

Kornhaber et. al.

2016

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform

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.

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools

Kozol

1991

Critical Pedagogy and Equity

A discussion of the disparities of schools between different classes and races in the United States.

The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning

Kralovec & Buell

2001

Eliminating Homework

A summary of research, evidence, and justification for eliminating homework.

End Homework Now

Kralovec & Buell

2001

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.

Free Voluntary Reading: New Research, Applications, and Controversies

Krashen

2004

Promoting Literacy

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.

Competitive Grading Sabotages Good Teaching

Krumboltz & Yeh

1996

Ungrading

Showcases the negative effects of grading on classroom learning.