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what educational theorists really really excel at is making old old stuff sound new and scientific

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Corvuscorax, Sep 12, 2019 at 11:08 PM.

  1. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Senior commenter


    All this talk about research from people who seem to have not the faintest inkling what the word research actually means, who have no idea how to judge if a conclusion is statistically valid, regurgitating stuff my great grandmother explained to me half a century ago when I was about 4
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Well I never. There I was thinking you only taught it once!
    Corvuscorax likes this.
  3. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I used to work in the software industry, and when I switched to teaching, one of the things that I struggled with was that there was no "right way" to do things. You couldn't even really tell whether you were doing a good job in the same way as you can when your program works and runs in an reasonable amount of time.

    Then came the shock that the things we were being told to do had never been tested, and seemed to have no scientific basis. "Learning styles" were all the rage when I started teaching, and coming from a scientific background I assumed that this was some sort of verified, peer-reviewed concept.

    What I've also realised is that a lot of the people in education who are held up as being experts are only in that position because they present themselves as experts - or even became one accidentally. For example, I don't claim to be an "expert", but by writing some of the "subject genius" series in the TES, I now find myself mentioned in books and on the New York University reading list.
  4. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    Coming from a science background it took me a few minutes reading an educational research paper to realise so called educational research is largely complete rubbish. It amazes me that anyone takes any notice of it. I remember learning styles. I also remember doing some activity on an inset where we found none of the staff had a prefered learning style and were informed that was the mark of a successful learner??!?
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Every year new teachers start. Old teachers (including me) need a bit of a shake up and cobwebs removal.
    No harm in reminding folk of things that can contribute to good practice, while remembering that good practice is a mixture of all sorts of things.
    blazer and bevdex like this.
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Senior commenter

    have you glanced at the article?Its presenting stuff as old as the hills as an innovative new break through. that's my point really. not the content, but the attitude. I'm nearly 60 and could have told them this stuff half a century ago, and it wasn't new then.
  7. WB

    WB Occasional commenter

    Another god-awful buzzword that'll land on class teachers.

    They all follow the same pattern:

    Some SLT womble who wants to catch the eye of the head will declare it amazing and the best way to achieve ' whole school impact' ( code for self-promotion )

    Teachers have to do.more work changing lesson plans, putting up the inevitable display and being seen to be using it in lesson observations.

    It has little or no impact.

    It fades away to nothing with noboby admitting it failed.

    SLT womble claims they are amazing and gets promoted.

    ( I may need to work on my Growth Mindset)
    littlestrebel and Corvuscorax like this.
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I spent 33 years in teaching doing just this. In any discussions we had about teaching in staff meetings I'd just drop in something about Vygotsky's notion of the zone of proximal development and people would think I knew what I was talking about but it was just a load of old bull *hit.
  9. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    All these academic researchers beavering away researching what teaching methods work best and yet how do they teach their students? By droning on for an hour at a time at the front of a lecture theatre.

    Teaching methods have been researched for decades and we are still no closer to a method that has been shown to work for the majority of teachers over a prolonged period. It's yet another holy grail of teaching which will never be uncovered - but many academics are doing very nicely out of the quest.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Senior commenter

    I wouldn't say decades. I'd say centuries. Probably millennia.

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