McREL Books

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) is a private, nonprofit organization working to improve education through applied research and development. McREL develops products and provides services that promote the best instructional practices in K-12 classrooms across the United States and in other countries.

Since 1966, McREL has provided educators with a comprehensive array of services, including technical assistance and consultation in school improvement, standards analysis and development, student assessment, evaluation and policy studies, teacher professional development and leadership development. McREL also conducts rigorous, scientifically based research in several areas, including early childhood development, school leadership, formative assessment, school improvement, reading and instruction.


Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, 2nd Edition
Ceri Dean, Elizabeth Ross Hubbell, Howard Pitler and BJ Stone

First published in 2001, Classroom Instruction That Works revolutionized teaching by linking classroom strategies to evidence of increased student learning.

Now this landmark guide has been reenergized and reorganized for today's classroom with new evidence-based insights and a refined framework that strengthens instructional planning. Whether you're new to this book or are an expert in the nine research-based teaching strategies, this second edition helps you take your classroom practice to a higher level of effectiveness.

Explore new research explaining the impact each of the nine teaching strategies has on student achievement and effect sizes. Learn new insights about how and why some strategies work more effectively than others. And discover how all nine instructional strategies relate to essential skills for 21st century learners.

Plus, a completely rethought Instructional Planning Guide makes it easier for you to know when to emphasize each of the instructional strategies and use them to

  • Create an environment for learning that ensures an effective backdrop for every lesson.
  • Develop your students' understanding by using their prior knowledge as scaffolding for new learning.
  • Help students extend and apply knowledge and move beyond “right answer” learning to an expanded understanding and use of concepts and skills.

School Leadership that Works: From Research to Results
Robert J. Marzano, Timothy Waters and Brian A. McNulty

Learn what research tells us about the effects of school leadership on student achievement. Identify which leadership practices make a real difference in school effectiveness. Understand how school leaders use these practices in their day-to-day management of schools and during stressful times.

Based on their analysis of 69 studies conducted since 1970 and a recent survey of more than 650 building principals, the authors have developed a list of 21 leadership responsibilities that have a significant effect on student achievement.

Learn about:

  • The specific behaviors associated with the 21 leadership responsibilities.
  • The difference between first- and second-order change and the leadership responsibilities that are most important for each.
  • How to choose the right work that improves student achievement.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of comprehensive school reform models for improving student achievement.
  • How to develop a site-specific approach to improving student achievement, using a framework of 11 factors and 39 action steps.
  • A five-step plan for effective school leadership.

Combining rigorous research with practical advice, this book gives school administrators the guidance they need to provide strong leadership for better schools.


Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works
Howard Pitler, Elizabeth R. Hubbell, Matt Kuhn, Kim Malenoski

Learn the best ways to incorporate technology into curriculum. Understand what kinds of technology support particular learning tasks and objectives. And make sure technology use enhances instruction, not distract from it.

This book builds on the landmark "Classroom Instruction That Works" by linking each of the nine categories of effective instructional strategies with educational technology applications and resources. The authors share research-based recommendations for practice and clarify how to use both new and familiar technologies to:

  • Set specific, flexible and personal objectives.
  • Create advance organizers and nonlinguistic representations.
  • Help students take notes, summarize content and make comparisons.
  • Engage students in cooperative learning.
  • Help students generate and test hypotheses.
  • Support students in practicing new skills and doing homework.
  • Reinforce students' efforts through formative assessment, feedback and recognition.


Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners
Jane Hill, Kathleen Flynn

As more English-language learners (ELLs) are included in mainstream classrooms, educators can ensure these students understand academic content and develop proficient English-language skills. The authors have examined decades of research, interviewed mainstream teachers with ELLs in their classrooms, and reviewed the classroom recommendations from Marzano, Pickering and Pollock's seminal "Classroom Instruction That Works" (2001) through an ELL lens. This is a comprehensive guide to success in helping elementary school students at all levels of English-language acquisition.

For each strategy, the authors provide a summary of the research, detailed examples of how to modify the strategy for use with ELLs in mainstream classrooms, and teacher accounts of implementation. Because ELLs face cultural hurdles as well as linguistic ones, this book also shows teachers how to glean insight into students' backgrounds and address the cultural biases inherent in many classroom practices.