May 03, 2005

Measuring Student Autonomy and Motivation

Many educators support educational alternatives as a way of increasing such vital outcomes as self-efficacy, autonomy, responsibility, motivation, engagement and initiative. Sophisticated measures of these dispositions have been developed. One is at EdVisions, a teacher Edvisions.jpg
cooperative, with the Synder's Dispositional Hope Scale or Hope Scale for short. The instrument is used in a number of schools to show growth in these "soft" outcomes. Ron Newell ( at EdVisions and other researchers will help schools use and interpret the Hope instrument which is amazingly brief and quick to administer (less than 5 minutes). Ron has a wealth of experience and information for helping schools achieve higher engagement and achievement. Contact him!

Another source of 100s of instruments to measure a huge variety of outcomes is the Compendium of Assessment and Research Tools (CART), a valuable compository.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:54 AM

April 27, 2004

Tools for Creating Alternatives

The Annenberg Institute has referenced an amazing variety of tools such as observation protocols, focus group samples and questions, surveys, questionnaires, and other techniques for use in improving schools. These same tools can be very useful for creating new schools or tuning up alternatives. It's a splendid assortment of devices for leadership, planning, staff development, community connections, student involvement, school climate and school organization.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 12:20 PM

February 26, 2004

New Survey for Alternative Schools

The National Alternative Education Association has designed a survey for staff in alternative schools, particularly schools serving at-risk youth. Information about background and authors for the survey is available at the IALA website.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:58 PM

February 11, 2004

Is Your Alternative School Authentic?

John Loflin has produced a survey for alternative schools to examine their faithfulness to true alternative educational principles. He calls it the Pseudo-Alternative Checklist. It's a reality check for schools and a reminder of what originators of the alternative movement had in mind for educational choices. In addition to the survey (there are two forms), Loflin provides a rationale for the checklists, and a set of best practices with an extensive bibliography. You will find this material useful because of its specifics. Loflin's material is a welcome addition to extensive materials at the IALA website.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:08 AM

September 04, 2003

Ultimate Alternative School

David Douglas from New Hamshire delineates the key features of an "ultimate school" in a recent piece he sent. He suggests a checklist of 16 features for school personnel and parents to stimulate discussion about how their schools can improve or transform. See other writing and ideas at the Ultimate School Network.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 04:30 PM

April 13, 2003

Assessment of Attitudes Etc.

The Compendium of Assessment and Research Tools (CART) is a database that provides information on 1000s of instruments that measure attributes associated with youth development programs. This is a very useful resource in an era where so much rides on standardized tests of achievement.

CART includes descriptions of research instruments, tools, rubrics, and guides and is intended to assist those who have an interest in studying the effectiveness of service-learning, experiential approaches, and other school-based youth development activities. You will find a brief description of the instruments, the target population for the instrument, contact information for acquiring the instrument, other parameters that should guide its use.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 02:08 PM