Deans for Impact have released a blog post that is intended help learning scientists influence education. As with many publications by Deans for Impact, it seems to have been well received. However, I always react badly to pieces that position the authors as the adults in the room and my problem with this article runs deeper still. I am going to have to dissent.
I am, of course, sympathetic to the aim of convincing teachers that learning styles are a myth. However, I feel much the same about the Deans for Impact post as I do about this piece, the aims of which I certainly do not share. So what is my issue?
I don’t believe that proponents of evidence-based education should be in the business of consciously trying to spin concepts in order to manipulate their readers. At a basic level, it is wrong because it treats the intended…
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4 thoughts on “The beautiful simplicity of saying what you believe to be true”
We are all adults. Provide us with information, then let us decide what we choose to believe in. But please…whatever you do…DON’T PREACH. We are inundated with that all over, which is what is leading to such high levels of polarization in our society. Accountability would be great as well, but getting the word out…that’s the first step. Let’s see what happens after that, but finding ways to act like the educrats do…please. We should learn from other’s mistakes.
I would add that young teachers have been indoctrinated via ed school to believe a number of suspect theories, as well as being told to use ineffective practices. They are given mischaracterizations of traditional teaching and subscribe to the belief that such practices are bad. Older teachers also fall prey to what is being spouted by ed schools, by Departments of Education, and in some schools are told how they are to teach. Rather than focus on teachers, information should be disseminated to policy makers, ed schools and other entities that ultimately have control over how schools are run and what practices and beliefs are acceptable.
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I agree in principle about who to focus on, BG, but I have so little faith in policy-makers and ed schools to do the right thing that I think a focus there would be a bit wasted. They’ve had many decades, after all, to choose mandating and/or teaching the effective things, and, well, here we are. It’s my favorite thing about researchED/social media/blogosphere, as you know: provides an end run around all that bullshit for those who care to find better answers for themselves. And at this point of my ed career, I’ve decided those are the only ones I care about reaching with all this. Get enough of them–and, fairly, that’ll take some time–and it may one day resemble what’s happening in Britain: thousands of teachers, if not full ‘converts’, at least joining this conversation, questioning long-idealized practices, etc.
Yes, Eric, I agree. I was in classroom for 32 years, did what worked, was sensible, but the onslaught intensified over the last 15 to 20 years. Prior to that it was easy to close the door, not now.
REd could be a game changer, but Ontario doubling down, perhaps early signs of a backlash. Young teachers certainly indoctrinated, older teachers face severe pressure to conform and are silenced. Serious concerns about faculties of ed who have shown no signs of reform. Never have they faced such scrutiny though. And that is exactly what is needed.