Grants & Funding

Frequently Asked Grant Questions




After finding a grant that meets your needs, you are ready to begin the application process. Many grant applications ask the same, or very similar questions. In an effort to help you with your Kagan grant application, we have summarized here responses to the most commonly asked grant application questions.

 
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What is your reason for selecting this program?

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Without changing what is taught, the Kagan Structures transform how content is taught. This change in approach to instruction results in transformative positive educational outcomes. From the perspective of the teacher, the change is relatively easily—the teacher adopts easy-to-learn and easy-to-implement methods without abandoning proven lessons or curriculum. From the perspective of the student, the change is welcome—the class is far more engaging; students get to do what they most want to do: interact with their peers. From the perspective of the researcher, the transformation in instruction brought about by Kagan Structures aligns instruction with what is known about how students best learn information.

   
 
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What is the desired student outcome?

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Kagan Structures produce numerous positive student outcomes.

  • Kagan Structures are engaging. Students report greater joy in learning, more interest, and increased liking for school and class. The Kagan cooperative learning structures engage students by stimulating interaction.
  • Kagan Structures are aligned with the principles of brain-compatible learning. They provide a safe team context and interpersonal support, so students feel secure. Because of the stimulating interaction and intelligence shifts, the Kagan Structures create high stimulation and novelty, which are conditions for brain-compatible learning.
  • Kagan Structures engage a variety of learning styles and intelligences so each learner has opportunities to learn in his/her preferred style.
  • Every structure has an embedded curriculum. Some of the most valued outcomes in education are obtained through the use of Kagan Structures, including cooperative skills, character development, multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence, diversity skills, teamwork skills, and higher-level-thinking.
  • The structures provide real-life learning experiences, which reduce the transference gap generated by traditional instruction.
  • By increasing students’ range of experience, Kagan Structures better prepare students for the workplace of the future. The Kagan Structures emphasize the acquisition of teamwork and communication skills through daily practice of teamwork and functional communication.
   
 
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What are the benefits for your school?

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Advantages for Kagan School

  • Schools who have adopted Kagan Structures report higher achievement scores.
  • Because the structures can be used at any grade level with any content, all teachers benefit from training in Kagan Structures.
  • There is great pressure on teachers to teach what will be tested. Thus nonacademic programs are often short changed as academic testing approaches. However, the nonacademic benefits of the Kagan Structures are not dropped at the end of the school year as testing nears. This is because with Kagan Structures the nonacademic benefits spring not from special programs or special curriculum, but rather from the high level of social interaction that is a regular part of daily instruction.
  • Adopting Kagan Structures provides a common language for teachers.
  • Staff meetings are being transformed by Kagan Structures.
  • Schools often suffer from the educational “replacement cycle.” Every few years schools adopt a new innovation or curriculum, and teachers are told they should stop what they have been doing and adopt a new program. Teachers can use Kagan Structures to deliver any program. The Kagan Structures empower teachers for a lifetime.
  • Kagan Structures produce sustained implementation because once a teacher learns the steps of a structure he/she can easily use the structure to deliver a great range of content.
   
 
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How will you evaluate the program?

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For this question you may refer to formal and informal assessment.

  • Analyze standardized tests to evaluate the program. It may be based on overall school gains, closing the achievement gap, or on the gains made by your students in the lowest 25%.
  • The Kagan Structures allow an easy format for ongoing authentic assessment. In a traditional classroom, when a teacher checks for understanding after presenting, typically the teacher will ask a question of the class. Often only the brightest or most motivated students raise their hands. The teacher ends up hearing from a very unrepresentative sample of the class giving the illusion there is far greater understanding than is actually the case. In contrast, when teachers use Kagan Structures they get a very authentic, ongoing assessment of the class because, as the students are engaged in structures, the teacher walks around listening. A representative sample of the class is sampled, not just those who want to show off that they know. This allows teachers to fine tune their input, to better adjust to the actual levels of their learners.
   
 
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Where can I find current research?

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Kagan offers a wealth of materials on the research and rationale for Kagan Structures.

  • See Chapter 3: What Does the Research Say? in the revised book, Kagan Cooperative Learning. The book summarizes research and also provides references to many additional sources.
  • Kagan also provides many research articles free online. You may browse research studies and articles online at, www.kaganonline.com/free_articles/research_and_rationale.
  • Cooperative learning has been extensively researched. There are hundreds of books and journal articles with empirical studies on the effectiveness of cooperative learning. Books are the best bet for grant writing because they summarize the research nicely. But for very specific topics, your best bet may be to do a search in a university or other professional library.
   
 
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As I apply for a grant how much money should I request?

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The amount of funding needed is based on your training goals. Kagan offers everything from introductory workshops to intensive multi-year school improvement plans. My recommendation is that schools should start with the basic 5-Day Cooperative Learning Workshop and coaching. The 5-Day training is very thorough and will empower you with many Kagan Structures. The coaching is a terrific follow-up that will help teachers with implementation in their own classes.

The prices for established Kagan workshops and institutes are listed in Kagan's online schedule. But if your school or district plans to bring in Kagan, you will need to speak with Nancy Murray, Director of Kagan Professional Development. She has helped thousands of schools with their Kagan training plans and she can help you too! You can contact Nancy Murray at 1(800) 451-8495.