Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

At-risk middle schoolers: A good investment

13.04.2005


Investing in at-risk middle-school students can be profitable, showing a return in students’ interest in school, their grades and even their attendance. The investment that paid off for eight Maryland schools is a supplementary curriculum, Stocks in the Future, developed in partnership with the Stocks in the Future Foundation at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at The Johns Hopkins University.



The impact of this three-year course in the stock market and investing - with an incentive program that allows students to actually buy shares of stock - will be released Wednesday during a session of the 2005 American Education Researchers Association annual meeting in Montreal. "The Stocks in the Future program represents a new approach to helping middle school students who are reluctant to read, do math, or attend school," said Douglas J. MacIver, a principal researcher at the Johns Hopkins center.

MacIver studied 195 sixth- and seventh-graders in eight Maryland schools during the 2003-2004 school year. A group of 221 students in those same schools, who did not take the course, were used as a control group. The Stocks in the Future students attended school an average of 3.2 days more per year than students in the control group. That means that over the three years of middle school, Stocks in the Future students will attend two weeks more of classes than the control students, MacIver noted. That much improvement is statistically significant and "educationally important," he said.


Furthermore, while these students were in school more, they were also learning more, according to the results of tests given to the two groups of students. Those who took Stocks in the Future scored higher on vocabulary, reading comprehension and applied math questions. The seventh-grade vocabulary test produced the greatest gap between Stocks in the Future students and the control group - 80 percent to 67 percent of the answers correct, respectively.

In surveys conducted in the Stocks in the Future classes, students said they found the class exciting and relevant and that they were willing to put forth a great deal of effort because if they worked hard, they could learn a lot.

"Every student understands the importance of money," MacIver said. "They may never figure out why they need to know about the Magna Carta or the second law of thermodynamics or how to diagram sentences, but they immediately grasp that stock market literacy might help them make wise investments, and thus, make life-long dreams more attainable."

Such relevance makes Stocks in the Future an attractive addition to the middle school curriculum, he added. Stocks in the Future is a series of weekly lessons that are designed to provide motivation and academic help to students who are not making satisfactory progress in academics and who have a history of poor attendance. Students can earn the opportunity to buy stocks by improving their grades and attendance. They can earn $1 for each week of perfect attendance, $2 for improving math or English grades each quarter and $3 for each A and $2 for each B in math or English on their report cards. These funds are then used to buy stock, which the student can cash out when he or she graduates from high school.

Other findings from the Stocks in the Future study include:

  • Seventh-grade Stocks in the Future students outperformed the control students, 72 percent to 62 percent, in correct answers on the overall test of math and language skills.
  • Sixth graders answered 72 percent of the reading comprehension questions correctly, while students in the control group scored 65 percent correct.
  • Both sixth- and -seventh-grade Stocks in the Future students showed the greatest achievement gains on the reading comprehension portion of the test.
  • In a survey of Stocks in the Future students, 80 percent gave their teachers the highest possible score for "doing everything he or she can to help us learn."

Among other CSOS researchers presenting their research and findings at the Montreal meeting, are:

Jeffrey Wayman, whose work focuses on the use of student data to help educators determine appropriate instruction for their students. He will present the findings of a case study of three schools that involve all of their teachers in using data to improve instruction. "We’re finding that with proper support, teachers embrace such an initiative," Wayman said.

Joyce Epstein, a leader in family and community involvement in schools, will look at how well schools and school districts are meeting the requirements for parental involvement in the No Child Left Behind Act.

Steven Sheldon will also look at how schools are implementing the No Child Left Behind requirements for parental involvement, showing what factors over two years influence a school’s ability to set up the kind of partnerships the law requires. These factors include strong support from the principal and school district leaders, and the existence of a team of teachers, parents and community leaders that meets regularly and set goals for improving their school.

AERA is a prominent international professional organization focusing on the advancement of educational research and its practical applications. More than 12,000 researchers, educators and students are attending the Montreal meeting through April 15.

To arrange an interview or hear about other presentations by Johns Hopkins researchers, contact Amy Cowles at 443-287-9960 or Mary Maushard at 410-516-8810. Stocks in the Future is online at http://www.stocksinthefuture.org. AERA press contact: Helaine Patterson, Montreal Marriott Chatueau Champlain, 514-878-9000.

Amy Cowles | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stocksinthefuture.org
http://www.jhu.edu

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>