An essay by an English teacher posted in the wonderful Post blog The Answer Sheet 1 offers Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers.
It’s all good, worth your time to read and pass along, and she probably could have added eight or ten more. But this is one that really stands out.
4. Don’t tell us “The research says…” unless you’re willing to talk about what it really says.
It’s not that we don’t care about research, but that most often when research is mentioned in a school context, it is used to end legitimate conversation rather than to begin it, as a cudgel to silence us rather than an opening to engage us constructively. Very often when confronted with a “research says” claim that I find dubious or irrelevant, I ask for a citation and get a blank or vaguely menacing stare, or some invented claim about the demands of the Common Core, or a single name, “Marzano,” as though he completed all instructional research.
Research on children and learning is difficult to do right and the best you can say about almost studies in this area is that they are incomplete. However, at the very least those education “experts” pontificating on research should be required to read past the executive summary.
Oh, and I’m one more teacher who’s tired of “Marzano” being cited as the solution to everything.