Kagan in Secondary Classes

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:48 pm

Kagan in Secondary Classes

Post by kelly_cowan » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:54 pm

I am Kagan trainer for the high school in my district. I have a few teachers that are not just against Kagan they are aggressively against Kagan. I did a PIES refresher with the campus yesterday and received an email from the teacher with several questions. I am including the questions below. I would love to email her back with some good stats. If anyone can be of any help I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You!!

l. I like to know the research and background of whatever is being asked of me. Kagan has just been mandated without much discussion. I have been told that it enhances student learning. Most of what I have been given on Kagan is from Kagan. Are there long-term independent studies that support this? Are there studies that state that it doesn't work.

2. The vocabulary is juvenile. I don't like it when I'm in training and I don't like it when I'm using it in my classroom. Who talks like that?

3. I think it is possible to for students to be as off-task with this as any other activity. It is touted as a solution and no one seems willing to talk about the weakness of the activities.

4. The students I know dislike these structures and not for the reason that they are all asked to be engaged. Here are a few common complaints - silly names, questions are not challenging and/or if the questions are too challenging, students don't have the background information, students can be wrong, takes up too much time. This is coming from freshmen. I asked a group of juniors yesterday and they just laughed. Is anyone talking to the kids?

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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:17 am

Re: Kagan in Secondary Classes

Post by krisosthoff » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:48 pm

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for reaching out! It’s great you did a PIES review!
Your teacher submitted lots of questions, and I think I can help you better through an email exchange.
Would you please email me at kriso@kaganonline.com?
Kristine Osthoff

Posts: 35
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:17 am

Re: Kagan in Secondary Classes

Post by krisosthoff » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:35 am

by one of our Executive Directors, Miguel Kagan.

This post brings up a number of questions and objections to the use of Kagan in secondary classes.
We will respond below to each point raised. For those questioning if Kagan is appropriate for high school, we encourage you to read this article:
https://www.kaganonline.com/free_articl ... chievement

Many high schools have experienced tremendous success with Kagan. But don’t take Kagan’s word for it, hear from other educators using Kagan…

Most of what I have been given on Kagan is from Kagan. Are there independent studies?
This is a fair question. We should be skeptical of research findings that are not independent. The research on Kagan is not conducted by Kagan. The research conducted on Kagan and cooperative learning has been conducted by researchers, teachers, schools, districts, and universities with no affiliation to Kagan. Kagan does however proudly post the results of these independent studies on Kagan’s website:
For example:
• Infographic and Benefits summary: https://www.kaganonline.com/power_of_kagan.php
• Research and Rationale articles: https://www.kaganonline.com/free_articl ... rationale/

This research consistently finds enhanced student achievement, but also a range of other positive outcomes including reduced discipline referrals, improved social skills, improved race relations.

Are there studies that state that it doesn't work?
There have been hundreds of studies on cooperative learning. The overwhelming majority of these studies find positive results with cooperative learning. But not every study does. A meta-analysis is a statistical procedure for combining many studies to see the overall effect of the treatment. A number of meta-analyses have been conducted on cooperative learning and to our knowledge, all have found cooperative learning an effective method for raising student achievement. Here’s a link to an article that summarizes the results of multiple meta-analyses:
https://www.kaganonline.com/free_articl ... amp-Equity

To our knowledge, not a single meta-analysis finds traditional instruction outperforms cooperative learning.

Kagan’s Vocabulary is Juvenile
By this, we assume you are talking about the names of Kagan Structures. Kagan has intentionally given structures catchy name that usually describe the essence of what’s going on in the structure. Numbered Heads Together, Quiz-Quiz-Trade, Timed Pair Share are a few examples. We’re sorry to hear you find these names juvenile. While we encourage educators to use the given names for improved communication and consistency, using the structures themselves is much more important than using the names.

It’s Possible for Students to Be Off Task
Agreed. Students can get off task with any instructional strategy. However, research finds students to be on task more often than with traditional learning. Again, those are independent findings, not Kagan’s. Because the structures are designed to incorporate equal participation and simultaneous interaction, there is a higher level of student active engagement.

Here is a quote from a teacher at LeHigh Senior High School:
“Students are so engaged that they don’t have time to be disruptive. Student are so caught up in the fun that they don’t even realize they are on task.” 
 —Debbie Ciolino
LeHigh has seen incredible results with Kagan. We encourage you to read the article and hear from educators who have turned their school around academically with Kagan:
https://www.kaganonline.com/free_articl ... Engagement!-
Students Dislike Kagan Structures
Again the research on this suggests that students much prefer Kagan to traditional independent learning.
Here are student comments from an attitudinal survey in a high school journalism class:
• “I really enjoyed the different types of activities that we did.”
• “We weren’t just in our seats. We were up and moving around.”
• “You didn’t just lecture the whole time, you allowed us to check each other to see if we were understanding what was going on.”

For the entire study, see: https://www.kaganonline.com/free_articl ... m-Students
Another study conducted in a High School Algebra class asked: “If I could choose my math class next year, I would choose one that used Kagan Strategies on a regular basis.” 88% percent of the students agreed. While not every student prefers Kagan, the overwhelming majority do.
Here is a link to the study: https://www.kaganonline.com/free_articl ... ol-Algebra

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Re: Kagan in Secondary Classes

Post by Kiloruri » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:04 am

very interesting, thanks