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Écrit par Douglas Carnine   
Vendredi, 21 Avril 2000 00:00

Douglas Carnine

Why Education Experts Resist Effective Practices

(And What It Would Take to Make Education More Like Medicine)

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
04.2000

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Education school professors in general and curriculum and instruction experts in particular are major forces in dictating the “what” and “how” of American education. They typically control pre-service teacher preparation, the continued professional development of experienced teachers, the curricular content and pedagogy used in schools, the instructional philosophy and methods employed in classrooms, and the policies espoused by state and national curriculum organizations.

Although they wield immense power over what actually happens in U.S. classrooms, these professors are senior members of a field that lacks many crucial features of a fully developed profession. In education, the judgments of “experts” frequently appear to be unconstrained and sometimes altogether unaffected by objective research. Many of these experts are so captivated by romantic ideas about learning or so blinded by ideology that they have closed their minds to the results of rigorous experiments. Until education becomes the kind of profession that reveres evidence, we should not be surprised to find its experts dispensing unproven methods, endlessly flitting from one fad to another. The greatest victims of these fads are the very students who are most at risk.

The first section of this essay provides examples from reading and math curricula. The middle section describes how experts have, for ideological reasons, shunned some solutions that do display robust evidence of efficacy. The following sections briefly examine how public impatience has forced other professions to “grow up” and accept accountability and scientific evidence. The paper concludes with a plea to hasten education’s metamorphosis into a mature profession.

 

 

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