Evidence Based Practices vs Reality

Posted on 26 Mar 2010 in Intervention | Comments Off on Evidence Based Practices vs Reality

Questions for Teachers:

Raise your hand if you are a teacher and you know that education law requires you to use scientific evidence-based strategies in your teaching practice.

Now raise your hand if you know anyone in the teaching profession that use practices based on research.

I don’t see many hands raised. Why is that?

Are Teachers Professionals?

Whenever I ask these questions of my graduate students or of teachers and administrators at professional development workshops, my questions are most often met with silence. Isn’t it our job, as professionals, to know what works in our profession? And by what works, I don’t mean the advice we get from peers in the staff room or the opinion of someone writing a blog…including me! But scientifically proven teaching methods, that have been replicated, and generalized, and have shown convergent findings.

Yet over and over, even after asking for evidence-based practices, I hear fellow educators discussing practices or programs with no merit. Maybe the programs come in a shinny box or with a glossy teacher guide, but why is that good enough? Why isn’t someone packaging the good stuff? How come selling stuff that is effective and improves student performance is such a hard sell? Am I asking too many questions???

Reality

I think there are a lot of excellent teachers out there. But it seems that no one is interested in closing the gap between research and practice. Teachers don’t need to ‘reinvent the wheel’ to teach effectively. There are plenty of effective wheels to choose from. But we do have to stop our addiction to using broken wheels. What is the attraction???

Comments, thought and answers are welcome.

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