A most remarkable comment showed up in a recent US News and World Report article.
The article discusses new teaching methods that identify and help students BEFORE they wind up getting labeled as special education students.
In a negative reaction to this new program, which seems to be a promising way to help kids, USN&WR; quotes an education professor as saying, “Everyone’s great fear is: Will the science compromise the art of teaching?”
I find that comment terribly revealing. I can’t help wondering if the quote is accurate.
Real science is all about determining the truth concerning cause and effect – in this case, the best student reaction to different methods of teaching.
So this quote basically asks, “Will the truth about what is needed to meet students’ educational needs be allowed to interfere with teachers doing whatever they prefer instead, regardless of whether those teacher-preferred practices work better for children?”
If this sort of philosophy is actually present in our education schools, we have been presented with some great insight into why so many kids wind up in special education while the results of solid research into what works gets discarded in favor of some sort of ill-defined teaching “art.”