Morgan's study on science achievement gaps fourth most read

Research on school climate; shifts in race, income and gender-based achievement gaps; learning tools and approaches; and more appeared in the 20 most popular journal articles published by the American Educational Research Association in 2016. Based on the number of times they were accessed online, the following were the most popular AERA research articles published in 2016.

(Full articles can be accessed at no cost through the links below. All files are PDF.)

1. Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?
Researchers found that over a 12-year period, kindergarten classes have become increasingly like first grade. Kindergarten teachers in 2010 have much higher expectations of their students than in 1998, and their classrooms have become more similar to first-grade classes from the ‘90s.
AERA Open, January 2016
Daphna Bassok, Scott Latham, Anna Rorem

2. Discretion and Disproportionality: Explaining the Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs
This study found that even among elementary school students with high standardized test scores, black students are half as likely as their white peers to be assigned to gifted programs in math and reading. However, when black students are taught by a black classroom teacher, this gap largely disappears.
AERA Open, January 2016
Jason A. Grissom, Christopher Redding

3. Have Gender Gaps in Math Closed? Achievement, Teacher Perceptions, and Learning Behaviors Across Two ECLS-K Cohorts
This study reveals that over the last decade the gender gap in mathematics achievement has been largely consistent, with gaps developing early and spreading quickly. Teachers consistently rate girls’ mathematical proficiency lower than that of boys with similar achievement and learning behaviors.
AERA Open, October 2016
Joseph R. Cimpian, Sarah T. Lubienski, Jennifer D. Timmer, Martha B. Makowski, Emily K. Miller

4. Science Achievement Gaps Begin Very Early, Persist, and Are Largely Explained by Modifiable Factors
Analyzing children from kindergarten entry to the end of eighth grade, researchers found that science achievement race- and income-based gaps at the end of eighth grade are rooted in large general knowledge gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten.
Educational Researcher, January 2016
Paul L. Morgan, George Farkas, Marianne M. Hillemeier, Steve Maczuga

5. Recent Trends in Income, Racial, and Ethnic School Readiness Gaps at Kindergarten Entry
This study found that in a sharp reversal of a decades-long trend, the gap in kindergarten academic readiness between high- and low-income students narrowed by 10 percent to 16 percent between 1998 and 2010.
AERA Open, August 2016
Sean F. Reardon, Ximena A. Portilla

6. Online Mathematics Homework Increases Student Achievement
Researchers found that an online homework tool with teacher training improved mathematics learning among seventh-grade students, significantly increasing student scores on an end-of-the-year standardized mathematics assessment.
AERA Open, October 2016
Jeremy Roschelle, Mingyu Feng, Robert F. Murphy, Craig A. Mason

7. Big Data Comes to School: Implications for Learning, Assessment, and Research
This article explores the effects of big data in education, focusing on data generated by student writing. The authors discuss new sources of evidence of learning and argue that they have significant consequences for the traditional relationships between assessment and instruction.
AERA Open, April 2016
Bill Cope, Mary Kalantzis

8. The Importance of Minority Teachers: Student Perceptions of Minority Versus White Teachers
Authors found that students perceive minority teachers more favorably than white teachers, underscoring the demographic divide between teachers and students and the importance of minority teacher recruitment and retention.
Educational Researcher, October 2016
Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Peter F. Halpin

9. The Life Between Big Data Log Events: Learners’ Strategies to Overcome Challenges in MOOCs
This study revealed that important student experiences in massive open online courses are absent from MOOC tracking logs: the practices at learners’ workstations, learners’ activities online but off-platform, and the wider social context of their lives beyond the MOOC.
AERA Open, June 2016
George Veletsianos, Justin Reich, Laura A. Pasquini

10. Digital Games, Design, and Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Results of this meta-analysis indicate that digital games significantly enhance learning for K–16 students relative to nongame conditions.
Review of Educational Research, March 2016
Douglas B. Clark, Emily E. Tanner-Smith, Stephen S. Killingsworth

11. A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Classroom Management Strategies and Classroom Management Programs on Students’ Academic, Behavioral, Emotional, and Motivational Outcomes
This meta-analysis examined which classroom management strategies and programs enhanced students’ academic, behavioral, social-emotional, and motivational outcomes, revealing small but significant effects on all outcomes.
Review of Educational Research, July 2016
Hanke Korpershoek, Truus Harms, Hester de Boer, Mechteld van Kuijk, Simone Doolaard

12. Does College Teach Critical Thinking? A Meta-Analysis
Authors analyzed research reports published over the past four decades and found that students’ critical thinking skills, as well as their dispositions toward critical thinking, improve substantially over a normal college experience.
Review of Educational Research, June 2016
Christopher R. Huber, Nathan R. Kuncel

13. The Association Between Student Reports of Classmates’ Disruptive Behavior and Student Achievement
The authors found that a disruptive classroom climate can hinder the learning environment and lower the academic achievement of the entire class, regardless of the conduct of any particular student.
AERA Open, June 2016
Carmel Blank, Yossi Shavit

14.  Socioeconomic Gaps in Early Childhood Experiences: 1998 to 2010
This study found that between 1998 and 2010, low- and high-income families significantly increased the amount of time they spend engaging in educational experiences with their children, with the biggest changes seen among the lowest-income children.
AERA Open, August 2016
Daphna Bassok, Jenna E. Finch, RaeHyuck Lee, Sean F. Reardon, Jane Waldfogel

15. The Theory and Practice of Culturally Relevant Education: A Synthesis of Research Across Content Areas
In this research synthesis, the authors sought examples of research connecting culturally relevant education to positive student outcomes across content areas, to serve as a reference to educational researchers, parents, teachers, and education leaders.
Review of Educational Research, March 2016
Brittany Aronson, Judson Laughter

16. Authoritative School Climate and Student Academic Engagement, Grades, and Aspirations in Middle and High Schools
Findings from this study added new evidence that schools with higher disciplinary structures and higher student support are associated with higher student engagement, higher course grades, and higher educational aspirations in middle and high schools.
AERA Open, February 2016
Dewey Cornell, Kathan Shukla, Timothy R. Konold

17. A Research Synthesis of the Associations Between Socioeconomic Background, Inequality, School Climate, and Academic Achievement
In this comprehensive research analysis, researchers found evidence that schools with positive climates can narrow achievement gaps among students of different socioeconomic backgrounds and among students with varying academic abilities.
Review of Educational Research, November 2016
Ruth Berkowitz, Hadass Moore, Ron Avi Astor, Rami Benbenishty

18. The Trans-Contextual Model of Autonomous Motivation in Education: Conceptual and Empirical Issues and Meta-Analysis
The authors evaluated the trans-contextual model — the processes by which independent motivation toward in-school physical education predicts motivation toward physical activity outside of school — and determined that future research needs to provide further replications of the model in diverse settings and use experimental methods.
Review of Educational Research, June 2016      
Martin S. Hagger, Nikos L. D. Chatzisarantis

19. School Choice Decision Making Among Suburban, High-Income Parents
Researchers found that when determining whether to send their children to a traditional public or charter school, high-income parents rely on their social networks and “do their homework,” reporting the importance of effective teachers, distance to school, and academic quality.
AERA Open, January 2016        
Shannon Altenhofen, Mark Berends, Thomas G. White

20. The Politics of Achievement Gaps: U.S. Public Opinion on Race-Based and Wealth-Based Differences in Test Scores
Researchers found that when asked about wealth- and race-based academic achievement gaps, Americans are more concerned about the gap between poor and wealthy students, more supportive of policies that might close it, and more prepared to explain the reasons behind it.
Educational Researcher, August 2016
Jon Valant, Daniel A. Newark