More Myths…And Colvin’s Stimulated!

In the WaPo Kalman R. Hettleman (who has a new book in the offing) offers-up five myths about school reform that are worth checking out.  And with a stimulus peg Richard Colvin offers a stage-setter on education politics in Ed Next.

2 Replies to “More Myths…And Colvin’s Stimulated!”

  1. Hettleman goes so far out of his way to be balanced that the result is a very watered-down article.

    “Teachers know best how to teach kids; policymakers should leave them alone.” The problem isn’t that policymakers are telling teachers how to teach, it’s that they are making mandates and forcing us to figure out how to teach to meet those mandates. We don’t agree with their goals.

    I don’t think teachers are against scientific research in education. It is difficult, however, to keep up and to apply research to your own classroom. Furthermore, much of the publicized research has been cherry-picked to support the agenda of policy makers and educational technology corporations. Read enough of it and you are likely to become cynical about educational research.

  2. I firmly believe that the first step in educational reform is to put education back in the hands of educators. Why? Well, they are the experts. That doesn’t guarantee you will always agree with them, but chances are, they know better than you. Not only do they have the formal schooling to back them, but they also have actual experience in the classroom which is more than many of our politicians, policy makers, and advisers can say.

    I laugh at the notion Mr. Hettleman made about teachers resisting scientific research at the insistence of college professors. On the contrary! While a student studying education, both undergraduate and graduate work, I was encouraged by my professors to stay current on research and always pay attention to which way the pendulum was swinging. Like many other professions, trends come and go. Lucky for me, I was taught by my professors to pay attention to research and always make note of who commissioned the study, what the sample consisted of, and what assessment measures were used. Most importantly, one of the most valuable lessons I learned in college – be smart about research being reported because, as Loren stated above, it is easy to cherry-pick the results to support a certain cause, trend, and/ or agenda.

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