Friday, May 27, 2011

The Magnificent Eight: AVID Best Practices Study

Guthrie, L. F., & Guthrie G. P. (February, 2002). The Magnificent Eight: AVID Best Practices Study. Retrieved from:
Guthrie and Guthrie are members of the organization CREATE (Center for Research, Evaluation and Training in Education), which was funded by the AVID center in 2001 to complete a study of the program’s best practices. The report presents the program essentials of AVID in section one and in section two presents the program essentials at a collection of eight schools. The eight schools, also known as the Magnificent Eight, were selected based on their “consistent high performance by AVID students.” All of these schools are in the state of California and most work to implement all eleven of the program essentials into their schools. It is important to point out that this report was funded by AVID and the schools that were selected were the high achieving AVID schools.

Based on the report, the AVID program seems to be useful to schools that have a system of tracking students and helps students “move up” in that tracking. AVID has also been very successful at getting students to college, especially minority students, and keeping them there. The skills and strategies taught to the AVID students seem to prepare them for the rigor of a college preparatory curriculum and helps to teach them to self-advocate and ask questions. Students who are “middle” achieving apply to be a part of the program. The AVID participants, and teachers, generally volunteer to be a part of the program. AVID sees this as one of the cornerstones to student success-- teacher and student buy in. The report does not give specific strategies that are used in the classroom, but instead studies what made these AVID schools part of the “magnificent eight.”
  • “All the programs reported this essential was indispensable; teachers and students must volunteer for the program.”
  • “AVID students make up nearly 50% of the students in AP at Ramona, even though they represent only 20% of the total student population; at Coachella, they account for 30% of AP, but only 6% of the school enrollment.”
  • “The strength of AVID lies in putting writing as the foundation, and providing students access to trained college tutors who guide students toward critical thinking.”
  • “In the groups, we saw students unafraid to ask questions or to question others; they were learning to assess their own understanding, developing an awareness of what they knew, not only in their reflection at the end of the period, but throughout.”
Reflection on Practice:
I am interested to learn more about the specific strategies that AVID teachers use in their classroom. I would also like to see if there were ways to bring the “AVID elective” into my core classes. From reading the report, I can see the various ways our model is similar to the program, but also ways in which the model is very different. A next step would be to review the curriculum and activities to see how they are used in a class.

No comments:

Post a Comment