Or, what’s wrong with education research?
Here at BIPPS we have written on many occasions about the poor quality of much of education research and how the smoke screen from this bad research renders the best performing education programs virtually unknown to most educators. Among other reports on the education research quality issue, we’ve pointed many times such as here, here, here and here, to name just a few examples, to the telling reports on “Educating School Teachers” and “Educating Researchers” from Arthur Levine.
Levine, a past president at Columbia Teachers College, makes it clear that some of this research problem is far from accidental. In his “Educating Researchers” Levine writes about his interviews with education school personnel responsible for training the research community, stating:
“It quickly became apparent that in today’s highly charged environment, those interviewed for this study had less interest in ‘truth telling’ than in defending their positions.” (Page 6)
That’s just not an environment from which high-quality research will come.
Levine isn’t alone with his concerns, by the way. For example, a note on related issues from former U of L professor George Cunningham just surfaced, again. Cunningham’s short comments are well worth your time and since those outside Kentucky are likely to ask Bluegrass State residents about it, here’s the link to Cunningham’s short and useful “The Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research.”
Pay attention and you will know why you need to be really, really wary when educators start talking about “The research shows…” when people spout off about things like charter schools not working, about best education programs, about how great Common Core State Standards are, etc.