Jim Lerman's insight:
I found this to be quite an interesting piece of research, detailing powerful findings about the efficacy of using graphic organizers. Followers of Robert Marzano or David Hyerle, and other proponents of using GOs, will not be surprised by this, of course.
This study was commissioned by Inspiration, publishers of Inspiration and Kidspiration software -- two early favorites of mine. Although published in 2003, this work is useful, I think, because it gathers together results from a rather large number of studies that meet the USDOE's requirements for being scientifically based (29).
In my opinion, educators looking for ways to boost student achievement, as assessed using formative or summative measures, would do very well to pay close attention to the effective use of GOs.