La Sierra’s Kido to talk education survey results at Cancun IAD congress
August 28, 2009
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( www.lasierra.edu ) La Sierra University Professor Elissa Kido has a major assignment in Mexico next month and she’s excited about the task ahead. On Sept. 7, 8 and 9 she will share with roughly 1,000 educators gathered at a hotel in Cancun, Mexico, the preliminary and highly positive results of a groundbreaking, La Sierra-based Adventist education study.
The four-year study, called CognitiveGenesis, is a collaborative effort between La Sierra and the North American Division Office of Education in Silver Spring, Md. By gathering standardized test scores and surveys of teachers, administrators, students and parents, the study assesses the academic prowess of 30,000 elementary and high school students in Seventh-day Adventist schools throughout the denomination’s North American Division. Student achievement levels are compared to national norms.
The project analyzes Iowa Test of Basic Skills scores and compares them with cognitive abilities tests to determine differences between predicted academic ability and actual level of achievement. Researchers are entering the fourth and final year of the CognitiveGenesis project.
Kido will describe CognitiveGenesis and present preliminary findings from the past three years during the Inter-America Division Teachers’ Congress in Cancun Sept. 6-9. She will give an address on Sept. 8 before a general session of the congress and will also speak to k-12 teachers and college and university educators during seminars on Sept. 7 and 9.
Inter-America Division educators at the Cancun event will arrive from 15 universities and 910 schools that belong to the Adventist system of education in 33 countries.
Kido’s talks will mark the first time data from the study is shared with audiences outside of the North American Division. “We are taking CognitiveGenesis to the world church,” she said. “I feel so excited. I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”
Kido is a professor of curriculum and instruction at La Sierra and serves as project director for CognitiveGenesis. CognitiveGenesis commenced in the 2006-07 school year. Research is comprised of annual surveys and data from standardized test scores of Adventist school students in grades 3–9 and in grade 11.
Preliminary third year results showed students in Adventist schools in the United States were above the national norm for overall achievement in all grades studied. They proved above average for all subject areas, including reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.
“So far the results are quite promising, especially for continuing students who have been in our system,” Kido said. “The longer a student is in our schools, the higher their achievement and ability.”
“No matter the grade, the size of the class, the school, the subject, students in Adventist schools outperformed their peers in standardized tests [in the United States] and the longer they’re in Adventist schools the greater the achievement,” Kido continued.
“Also students in small schools do just as well as students in our large schools and that is gratifying to a lot of people because 60% of our schools [in the North American Division] are considered small,” she said.
At end the end of the third year, CognitiveGenesis researchers began longitudinal and cross-sectional studies. “So far on the longitudinal studies [following the same students for three or four years], the students that have been in our schools the past two years have the highest achievement and highest ability scores” on standardized tests, Kido said.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University