Critical analysis of school situation in terms of its role in promoting learners cognitive and non-cognitive learning output

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Academic performance is an outcome that is affected by a range of factors that are both intrinsic to the individual learner, and apparent within the context of their environment.

In drawing together the findings from the literature review, the various noncognitive

skills and attributes were categorized into five areas including:

Academic Behaviors

Academic behaviors are reflected through the visible and observable signs that a student is engaged and being effortful with their learning. Academic behaviors directly relate

to how well a student performs in class and have a significant influence on achievement.

Academic Perseverance

Academic perseverance is based on a range of psychological concepts that form the foundation for understanding a students ability to set goals, stay focused, and work towards educational attainment.

Academic Mindsets

Academic mindsets are the beliefs and attitudes that a young person holds in relation to their academic work. When a student has a positive academic mindset, they are more likely to be motivated to learn, persistent with their work, and demonstrate perseverance.

Learning Strategies

Learning strategies are the processes that a student can draw upon to engage with the cognitive tasks of thinking, remembering, and/or learning. This includes the domains of study skills, metacognition, self-regulation, and goal-setting.

Social Skills

Social skills focus on the interpersonal qualities of a student and the behaviors that facilitate social interactions with others. In addition to improving interactions with peers and teachers within the school context, social skills are also considered to be an important component of future work and life outcomes.


Cognitive abilities (and skills) are usually identified with intelligence and the ability to solve abstract problems. Measures of these skills include the IQ test and the standardized tests on reading, science and maths carried out almost routinely at the international level since the early 1990 or even before. Since the different aspects of cognition are highly correlated, a general intelligence factor labelled “g” can be extracted from correlated test scores.

Perception- Learning outcome  involved  are   Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli (smell, touch, hearing, etc.)

Attention-  Learning outcome involved  are  Ability to sustain concentration on a particular object, action, or thought, and ability to manage competing demands in our environment.

Memory- Learning outcome   involved  are Short-term/ working memory (limited storage), and Long-term memory (unlimited storage).

Motor skills- Learning outcome   involved  are Ability to mobilize our muscles and bodies, and ability to manipulate objects.

Language- Learning outcome   involved are  Skills allowing us to translate sounds into words and generate verbal output.

Visual and Spatial Processing- Learning outcome involved are  Ability to process incoming visual stimuli, to understand spatial relationship between objects, and to visualize images and scenarios.

Executive Functions- Learning outcome involved are  Abilities that enable goal-oriented behavior, such as the ability to plan, and execute a goal.

These include:
Flexibility: Learning outcome involved are  the capacity for quickly switching to the appropriate mental mode.
Theory of mind: Learning outcome involved are    insight into other people’s inner world, their plans, their likes and dislikes. include:
Anticipation: Learning outcome involved are   prediction based on pattern recognition.
Problem-solving: Learning outcome involved are    defining the problem in the right way to then generate solutions and pick the right one.
Decision making: Learning outcome involved are   the ability to make decisions based on problem-solving, on incomplete information and on emotions (ours and others’).
Working Memory: the capacity to hold and manipulate information “on-line” in real time.
Emotional self-regulation: Learning outcome involved are    the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions for good performance.
Sequencing: Learning outcome involved are    the ability to break down complex actions into manageable units and prioritize them in the right order.
Inhibition: Learning outcome involved are    the ability to withstand distraction, and internal urges.

Non cognitive learning outcome

Non cognitive learning outcome are personality traits that are weakly correlated with measures of intelligence, such as the IQ index. A broadly accepted taxonomy of personality traits in the  definition by Nyhus and Pons, 2005, model includes the following factors;

Agreeableness is the willingness to help other people, act in accordance with other people interests and the degree to which an individual is co-operative, warm and agreeable versus cold, disagreeable and antagonistic.

Conscientiousness is the preference for following rules and schedules, for keeping engagements and the attitude of being hardworking, organized and dependable, as opposed to lazy, disorganized and unreliable.

Emotional stability encompasses dimensions such as nervous versus relaxed and dependent versus independent, and addresses the degree to which the individual is insecure, anxious, depressed and emotional rather than calm, self-confident and cool.

Autonomy indicates the individual propensity to decide and the degree of initiative and control. Extraversion is the preference for human contacts, empathy, gregariousness, assertiveness and the wish to inspire people.

Non cognitive skills are a crucial ingredient in the concept of emotional intelligence

used by social psychologists and human resource management specialists.

The impact and acquisition of the above referred cognitive and non-cognitive skills depands on the learning resources available in schools. Hence it is necessary to evaluate the learning resources in schools.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for the evaluation and selection of learning resources for the public schools in ———..

A. For the purposes of this document, we use the following terms:

(1) “Learning Resources” will refer to any person(s) or any material  with instructional content or function that is used for formal or informal teaching/learning purposes. Learning resources may include, but are not limited to, print and non-print materials; audio, visual, electronic, and digital hardware/software resources; and human resources.

(2) “Resource-Based Learning” will refer to the curriculum documents that actively involves students, teachers, in the effective use of a wide range of print, non-print and human resources.

(3) “Selection Tools/Aids” will refer to bibliographies that include an evaluative or critical annotation for each item, providing recommendations; bibliographic information for each item; purchasing information; access to entries by author, title, subject, format, and audience to aid in locating recommended materials; and analytical indices, appendices, or other special features useful in helping students and teachers locate portions of works that may be in the school’s collection.

Statement of Objectives of Selection

• To provide suggestions to select resources that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the diversity of interests and perspectives, and the variety of abilities, learning styles and maturity levels of the learners served;

• To provide suggestions   to select resources that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and knowledge of societal standards;

• To provide suggestions to select resources representative of gender, appearance, sexual orientation, ability/disability, belief system, family structure, race and ethnicity, and socio-economic status;

Procedures for Selection of Learning Resources General Learning Resources: Considerations Content/Format/Design Methodology

  • be chosen to help students understand the many important contributions made to our civilization by minority groups and people/groups with a variety of ethnic backgrounds
  • be designed to motivate students and staff to examine their attitudes and behaviors, and to comprehend their duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges as participating citizens in our society
  • be relevant to the needs of the student. Learning resources should
  • be supportive of continuous learning by the individual
  • portray positive role models
  • promote equality by enhancing students’ understanding of a multicultural and diverse society
  • provide for both formative and summative assessment/evaluation as appropriate
  • recognize the integration of students with special needs (as part of the class)
  • reflect good safety practices in texts and visuals (e.g., use of helmets, seatbelts)
  • reflect sensitivity to gender and sexual orientation, the perspective of aboriginal people, and cultural and ethnic heritage
  • support/promote students’ self-esteem and respect for the self-esteem of others
  • use language appropriate to the intended audience, and exclude slang, vernaculars, or expletives that detract from meaning.

Learning resources should

Assessment/ Evaluation Social Considerations

1. Gender Equity

  • Education that is accessible and appropriate is sensitive to how gender shapes and is shaped by experience and learning.
  • Female and male students may have different methods of learning and different educational needs. In a gender-equitable education system, all methods of learning are respected equally, and students with gender-specific needs or characteristics are supported and provided with resources appropriately and equally.
  • Language influences the way in which people understand and interpret the world around them; therefore, the language of recommended learning resources should be inclusive, but not necessarily neutral, and should promote equality for males and females.
  • Students are influenced by attitudes and values around them. It is important that recommended learning resources reflect balanced images and information about males and females and support broad choices and many roles for both sexes.
  • Some materials contain an inherent gender bias because of historical or cultural context. When such resources are used, students should be made aware of the context.

2. Multiculturalism

• Students should experience a sense of belonging coupled with pride in their heritage. Learning materials should raise levels of awareness about ethnocentrism, bias, stereotypes, discrimination, and racism, and teach or provide examples of inclusive, pro-social behaviours.

• Students from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds need to see themselves reflected in educational materials. The sharing of cultural heritages, languages, traditions, values, and lifestyles enriches the education of all students.

• To these ends, resource collections should include materials that

  • affirm and enhance self-esteem through pride in heritage
  • create sensitivity to and respect for differences and similarities within and among groups
  • increase awareness of ethnic and cultural diversity
  • promote cross-cultural understanding, citizenship, and racial harmony
  • reflect and validate students’ cultural experiences.

3.. Students with Special Needs

A. Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Students with intellectual disabilities have intellectual development functional behaviours that are significantly below the norm for students the same age.

Language and Text Organization

  • Avoid complex sentences.
  • Ensure that each sentence contains only one main concept.
  • Express concepts at a literal level.
  • Highlight important information for easy recognition.
  • Provide clear structure and appearance, focussing student attention to key ideas.
  • Provide clear, simple instructions that can be broken down into component steps.
  • Provide organizers, in advance, as well as definitions of key vocabulary, with illustrations.
  • Use simplified vocabulary, avoiding excessive dialect or idioms.


• Include illustrative material (pictures, graphs, etc.) that supports text.

• Use real life pictures where possible.


  • Avoid unnecessary complexity in activities.
  • Be conscious of spacing of print (lots of white back ground, large margins) and font size.
  • Ensure age appropriateness, even if adapted in language, conceptual complexity, and structure to meet intellectual ability.
  • Illustrate concepts by real-life examples connected to students’
  • Include explicit aids for memorization and review, and “how-to” instructions.
  • Offer group work and paired peer activities.
  • Provide multi-sensory instruction.
  • Provide opportunities for approaching concepts at various levels of complexity.
  • Provide summaries of important information.
  • experiences.

B. Students with Learning Disabilities

Language and Text Organization

  • Avoid excessive dialect or idioms.
  • Define and bold new vocabulary in text.
  • Highlight key information.
  • Note use of subtitles in nonfiction materials.
  • Provide clear structure and appearance, focussing student attention to key ideas.
  • Provide simple, clear instructions that are broken down into component steps.
  • Vary font styles for concept purposes, not just for variety.


  • Illustrate important concepts both visually, and through sound.
  • Illustrate main idea with action that is central and attention grabbing.
  • Show single actions that focus attention.
  • Use clear, uncluttered illustrative material (pictures, graphs, etc.).


• Allow for processing time, and time to use compensatory strategies.

• Express concepts, and provide opportunities for approaching them

• Illustrate concepts by real-life examples connected to students’ experiences.

• Provide explicit aids for memorization and review, and “how-to” instructions.

• Provide means other than print to access information (e.g., support

• Provide multi-sensory instruction.

• Provide opportunities for group work and paired peer activities.

• Provide organizers that structure the learning task for the student.

• Provide, in advance, organizers to support information on video.

• Review and summarize key concepts using tools such as graphic organizers.

• Suggest various means students may use to demonstrate understanding of concepts (e.g., oral or written material, including work done with a word processor; tapes, and video, demonstrations or performances, portfolios).

at various levels of complexity.

materials on tape or video).

C. Students with Visual Impairments

Language and Text Organization

• Avoid columnar presentation.

• Avoid hyphenated text.

• Avoid random shifting of print sizes.

• Consider clarity of print quality, as many materials will require enlargement by a factor of up to six.

• Have wide margins.

• Provide either tactual (braille, tactual drawings) or auditory (books on tape, e-text, sighted) materials for students who are totally blind

• Provide predictable, consistent placement of print on the page or screen.

• Provide strong contrast between print and background, use white or pastel backgrounds.

• Separate print from visuals.

• Use clear pronoun referents that do not require visual supports for clarity.

• Use large type.

• Use simple fonts with no overlap or running together of letters.

• Use well-spaced text.


• Avoid clutter and glare on the page (glossy/laminated paper and charts).

• Do not rely on colour between letters, numbers, or objects to aid comprehension (colour differences may not be perceivable).

• Portray action centre/front with characters in foreground.

• Use clearly shaped illustrations, avoid shadows.

• Use illustrations that are directly relevant to text rather than peripheral.

• Use less, rather than more, image detail.

• Use photographs that show single-focus events.


• Avoid background sound that competes with significant aspects.

• Avoid distortion of sound, especially speech.

• Use distinctly different and contrasting voices to allow distinction of characters.

D. Students with Language Difficulties


• Place illustrations as close as possible to relevant text.


• Ensure that context increases rather than decreases clarity.

• Caption all dialogue.

E. Students with Hearing Impairments

Language and Text Organization

• Avoid, or use minimally, passive voice verbs, expressions of negation, multiple modifying phrases in one sentence, colloquial or idiomatic expressions.

• Provide chapter titles that match main idea.

• Provide clear sentence structure.

• Provide contextual clues.

• Provide paragraph development.

• Use clear pronoun referents or antecedents.

• Use controlled vocabulary.

• Use identification of subtopics.

• Use logical and clear development of main ideas supported by relevant details.

• Use of signal words (ordinals) for sequence, emphasis, and comparison.

• Use overviews or advance organizers.

• Use tables of contents, indices, glossaries, summaries.


• Provide clarity of video images such that room lighting will allow for sign language interpretation of dialogue.

• Provide useful graphics (not just pictures).

• Provide various graphics and illustrations to support concepts and thought processes.

• Use graphics located near relevant text.

• Use graphics that support, enhance, and re-explain main ideas.


• Use captioned dialogue.

• Provide context that increases rather than decreases clarity.

Students are considered gifted when they possess demonstrated or potential high capability with respect to intellect, or creativity, or have skills associated with specific disciplines (e.g., music). They may need instruction with approaches that allow for faster pace, greater scope and complexity, more variety, or opportunities for more independent learning. They can engage in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation at a greater depth than age peers.

F. Students with Special Gifts and Talents

When choosing resources for these students, consider the following approaches:

• Encourage flexibility and creative problem solving.

• Encourage higher-level thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation).

• Include jumping off points for independent study.

• Provide opportunities for open-ended and divergent thinking.

• Provide options for choice and decision making.

• Provide options for increased pace.

• Refer to other sources of information for extended learning.

• Use a discovery learning approach.

There are numerous matters for consideration that are unique to print resources,

most of which relate to readability.


• Consider the amount of technical vocabulary used, and the devices used to interpret, explain, and define technical terms.

• Consider the general level of difficulty of non-technical words used (in terms of familiarity and abstractness).

• Realize that excessive use of idioms and dialect increase reading difficulty.

Sentence Structure

• Consider frequency of pronoun use, especially where referents are ambiguous.

• Consider the complexity of sentence patterns typically used (simple, compound, complex), but be alert to attempts to simplify by omitting needed connections between ideas.

• Note that unusual or unpredictable sentence patterns and use of long, involved sentences will increase the reading difficulty; signal words associated with contrast, negation, and time (e.g., but, although, since, except, nevertheless) are not well understood by many students in special audiences.

2. DVD/Video and Digital Resources

Does this resource have significant added value or capability over a non-digital resource? Does it include

  • Constructive engagement (e.g., will it engage students in a meaningful way over an extended period of time)
  • Interactive features
  • Is the resource designed for educational use, or is it more appropriate for home use?
  • Is there some assurance of ongoing availability?
  • Possibilities for customizing content, environment, and pathways according to user needs?
  • Possibilities for feedback for the student and for the teacher
  • Would this resource be usable for the majority of the target audience given considerations of support, training, and facilities available?

The Internet

For all its mystique, the Internet is just another medium to be understood. It does, however, require sharper critical thinking skills than other media, for the

following reasons:

• The Internet is interactive, absorbing users in two-way communication.

• It is full of commercial environments that blend entertainment and advertising in subtle ways.

• Because it often lacks traditional editors or gatekeepers, all viewpoints appear to have equal weight.

Since the explosion of the World Wide Web, (with easy-to-use HTML editors, access to “free” home page space for anyone who has an Internet account, and the influx of commercial sites and advertisements) evaluation of Web sites has become much more difficult. With the huge amount of information available, it is imperative that students and teachers learn how to critically evaluate a site.

Three basic aspects of a web site should be considered during any evaluation. These are navigation and usability, authorship, and validity of content.

4. Web Resources

A. Navigation and Usability

In order to use a site effectively, and in order to get to the important information, a student must find a site navigable and easy to use. A site should provide for all types of learners. This can be done by offering hypertext links, so users can jump around, and a site map for the left-brained or concrete-sequential user.

B. Authorship

Sites should enable users to easily find out about the authors (where they work, what credentials make it appropriate for them to write about the topic, and how to get in touch with them for further questions). Web page authors have to expect that they will get e-mail from interested students asking for further explanation of a topic covered.

C. Validity of Content

The most important factor to consider when evaluating a Web site is the content. Students need to be able to recognize when a Web page is a thinly disguised commercial or opinion page, or when it is strictly a source of information. More importantly, the student needs to realize when each type of page is appropriate for his/her purpose or task. If possible, all information should be verified in a traditional edited print/electronic resource.

The following specific criteria to evaluate learning resources have been grouped under four main headings:

1. Content is current.

2. Content is accurate.

3.  Scope (range) and depth of topics are appropriate to student needs.

4. The level of difficulty is appropriate for the intended audience.

5. Content integrates “real-world” experiences.

The instructional design

Evaluation of the instructional design of the resource involves an examination of its goals, objectives, teaching strategies, and assessment provisions.

2. The resource is suitable for a wide range of learning/teaching styles.

3. The resource promotes student engagement.

4. The methodology promotes active learning.

5. The methodology promotes development of communication skills.

6. The resource encourages group interaction.

7. The resource encourages student creativity.

8. The resource allows/encourages student to work independently.

9. The resource is suitable for its intended purpose.

10. Materials are well organized and structured.

11. Materials have unity/congruency.

The resource holds together as a self-contained unit. Content, methodology, and means of evaluation correspond to the overall purpose.

12. Concepts are clearly introduced.

The progression of the presentation is smooth and logical, with new concepts

identified in a clear and consistent manner.

13. Concepts are clearly developed.

14. Concepts are clearly summarized.

15. Integration across curriculum subjects is supported.

16. Non-technical vocabulary is appropriate.

17. Technical terms are consistently explained/introduced.

18. Pedagogy is innovative.

19. Adequate/appropriate pre-teaching and follow-up activities are


20. Adequate/appropriate assessment/evaluation tools are provided.

21. Text relates to visuals.

1. Appropriate support materials are provided.

2. Visual design is interesting/effective.

3. Illustrations/visuals are effective/appropriate.

4. Character size/typeface is appropriate.

5. Layout is logical and consistent.

6. Users can easily employ the resource.

7. Packaging/design is suitable for the classroom/library.

8. The resource makes effective use of various mediums.

Some media choices are inappropriate:

• a slide show on video

• “electronic page-turner” digital resource programs

• an overhead transparency of a large body of small print text

Some media choices are appropriate:

• video combining contemporary or historical footage with live drama

• digital resources that simulate activities too expensive or dangerous for the classroom Digital resources should also consider the following questions:

• whether it can store responses, and students’ marks, create reports,

provide analysis, etc.

• whether it can be customized by the student and/or teacher to better meet a student’s needs

• whether it can identify student weaknesses and strengths to assist teacher in assessment and planning for future work, etc.

Controversial or offensive elements that may exist in the content or presentation,

Examining a resource to see how it handles social issues helps to identify potentially controversial or offensive elements that may exist in the content or presentation, and highlights where resources might support pro-social attitudes and promote diversity and human rights.

Specifically, the way in which the resource treats/handles a number of social issues should be examined.

1. Gender/Sexual roles

Any portrayal of gender issues in approved resources should be relevant to the curriculum for which the resource is being considered, and appropriate for the age level of the intended audience.


• whether portrayal of the sexes is balanced

• whether diverse roles and relationships are portrayed

Social Considerations

• whether contributions, experiences, and perspectives of various individuals and groups are acknowledged

• whether tone and language are appropriate (and sexist, abusive, and/or derogatory reference to gender are avoided)

• whether gender stereotypes are avoided.

2. Sexual orientation

Resources should reflect positive awareness and sensitivity in the portrayal of diverse sexual orientations. Any reference to sexual orientation should be in the context of the curriculum for which the resource is being considered, and appropriate to the age level of the audience.


• whether tone and language are appropriate (e.g., stereotypes and derogatory language are avoided)

• whether diverse sexual orientations are portrayed

• whether transgendered individuals are recognized

• whether diverse relationships (e.g., couples, families) are portrayed

• whether references to sexual orientation or sexual identity are relevant in the context.

3. Belief systems

A belief system is an organized set of doctrines or ideas (philosophy, religion, political ideology). Approved resources should neither overstate nor denigrate any belief system.


• how individuals or groups are presented (e.g., appearance, attitudes, socio-economic status, activities)

• whether descriptive language is appropriate

• whether generalizations (e.g., all liberals; all politicians) are avoided

• whether clear distinction is made between fact and opinion

• whether “groups” or “classes” are stereotyped.

4. Age

Resources should portray different age groups, and reflect society’s treatment of them.


• whether different age groups are represented

• whether descriptive language avoids stereotypes

• whether views of and about older people are included

• whether relationships between different age groups (e.g., parent/child) are depicted, and age-integrated activities included

• whether the aged are positively portrayed (e.g., as valuable contributors to society).


5. Socio-economic status

Resources should address socio-economic issues, including biases, values, and perspectives related to income.


• whether stereotypes are perpetuated, or innappropriate assumptions are made .

6. Political bias

Resources should avoid political bias. Some topics may be particularly sensitive.

7.  Multiculturalism (and anti-racism)

The perspective from which information is presented in resources is important. It is not sufficient to merely include in texts or videos pictures of multicultural people. They must have valid roles and be seen to be participating in ways that recognize their value and meaning.


• that culture is about the way we live our lives.

• whether the culture is examined from within, rather than from the point of view of an observer

• whether visuals present a variety of cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and visible minorities

• whether stereotyping (e.g., socio-economic, personal, linguistic) is avoided, both negative and positive.

• whether the level of respect shown for the language and culture of all people is appropriate (e.g., dialects, dress, diets are seen as positive reflections of a diverse, pluralistic society—not as deficits to overcome)

• whether the customs, lifestyles, and traditions of all races, religions, and cultures are presented in a manner that articulates their role, value, and meaning

• whether people of all races, religions, and cultures are shown as capable of understanding and making decisions about their own development and the important issues that affect their lives.

• whether members of minority groups are portrayed as positive role models (e.g., holding a variety of positions at every level of society)

• whether similarities among cultures and differences within ethno-specific group are acknowledged.

9.  Special needs

The effective promotion of awareness of the capabilities and contributions of children and adults with special needs is important. Their integration into education as fullfledged, respected, participating members of society is desirable. It is also of note that students with special needs have diverse backgrounds. These additional diversities and challenges need to be acknowledged.


• the nature of the special need presented

• a representation of natural proportions found in the population

• the contexts in which people with special needs are presented.

11.  Language

The use of specialized language should be suited to the context, maturity, and intellectual level of the audience.


• gender-biased language (e.g., chairman, constant “male first” order— he/she, boys and girls, men and women)

• incorrect grammar

• profanity

• racist, sexist, homophobic, and other pejorative terms

• slang, jargon, or dialect

• trendy language that may date quickly

The frequency of use of some language (e.g., frequent, occasional, seldom) is a factor in judging its suitability, but even one occurrence may preclude use of the resource, depending on the nature of the language.

13. Violence

Incidences of violence, where present, should be suited to both the context and the maturity level of the audience.


• a continuum of violence and bullying from putdowns, pushes, exclusion, and ridicule, to harassment, intimidation, physical threats, and assault

• explicitness of violence (e.g., inferred, graphic)

• presentation (e.g., discrete, sensationalistic), and function of violence

• stereotyping of participants.

• type of violence (e.g., physical/emotional, shock or horror, verbal abuse, violence against animals)

• variety of participants

14. Safety standards compliance

Activities portrayed should comply with legal and community standards of safe practice and common sense.


• adequacy of directions/instructions for safe use of materials

• equipment use (e.g., in physical education class )

• ergonomics for computer use.

• lab procedures

• materials handling (e.g., chemicals, pottery, electronics)

• modelling of safe practices (e.g., wearing helmets, seatbelts)

Instructional Design

WEB-1 Reliability/Validity of the site is clearly stated.

The site should clearly indicate who is responsible for the contents of the page, author qualifications, contact information, latest revisions/updates, and copyright information.

WEB-2 Sources of information are clearly listed.

Sources of factual information should be clearly listed for verification purposes. Clear distinctions should be made between internal links to other parts of the resource and external links that access other resources.

WEB-3 Instructional prerequisites are clearly stated, or easily inferred.

The background required to use the site should come from common knowledge or previous instruction. The information should be consistent with what is already known or found in other sources. The title page should be indicative of the content, and the purpose of the page should be indicated on the home page.

WEB-4 Opportunities are provided for different levels of instruction and/or interactivity.

Students should be able to progress through the material at rates suitable to their physical and intellectual maturity, abilities, and styles. Links should be provided to other sites to support or enhance the information presented.

WEB-5 Interaction promotes meaningful learning.

The site should provide information that is useful to the student’s specific purpose and/or bring some added value to learning that is not present in other formats. The site should offer more than one point of view and/or include links to other or alternative viewpoints.

WEB-6 Content chunking and sequencing are appropriate.

The content and concepts of the site should be organized logically into segments appropriate to the student’s abilities.

WEB-7 The site promotes active learning and student engagement.

The site should incorporate a variety of focussing techniques and cueing devices, as well as accessibility to advanced organizers and/or summaries. Information should be presented in such a way that it stimulates imagination and curiosity as well as encouraging self expression and group interaction.

WEB-8 Non-technical vocabulary is appropriate.

The site should model correct use of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, and the sophistication of the ideas presented should be appropriate for the intended audience.

WEB-9 Accessibility is timely.

The site/page should take a reasonable amount of time to load/download. Links should be readily accessible.

WEB-10 Navigation aids are in place.

Internal and external links should be clearly visible and annotated or explanatory. On supporting pages there should be a link back to the home page.

WEB-11 The site makes a balanced use of text, graphics, and images.

The site should incorporate a mixture of various visual presentations to supplement/enhance the content/information. The use should be balanced to enhance learning rather than overwhelm the presentation.

Guiding Principles

1. Any staff member, student, parent/legal guardian of a student or member of the community may question the appropriateness of learning resources used in a school’s educational program. Questions may arise despite the fact that the individuals selecting such resources were qualified to make the selection, followed the proper procedures, and observed the criteria for selecting learning resource.

2. The principal should review the Evaluation and Selection of Learning

Resources: A Guide document with the staff annually. The staff should be reminded that the right to challenge exists.

3. Parents/Guardians have the right to question reading, viewing, or listening resources for their own children, not for other students.

4. Although a learning resource is being questioned, the principles of the freedom to read/listen/view must be defended.

5. Access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process.

6. The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.

7. A decision to sustain a challenge shall not be interpreted as a judgement of irresponsibility on the part of the professionals involved in the original selection and/or use of the material.

The school receiving a complaint regarding a learning resource should try to resolve the issue informally.


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