plakboek (plakboek) wrote,
plakboek
plakboek

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Show me the money

Reading again the debate online about "rewarding good teachers"and "weeding out poor teachers". For a moment I had a scary thought. If children are the synthesis of good parenting .. perhaps academic test results are a better indicator of what parents are worth, their contribution to society and how they should be rewarded with money and tax bonuses. :-P (only kidding)

Whilst police don't often catch criminals by walking their beat amongst the troubled youth, the research shows that this has a bigger impact on local crime compared to bundling them into pursuit cars and flying squads. Whilst many in the public still pander to the idea of "scared straight" projects to drill fear and correct behaviour into juveniles, all the meta-research trends indicate that it does more harm than good. This is not the first time that good research is repeatedly ignored: http://www.jstor.org/pss/3658560

It is a similar story with our professsion of education. It takes a community to raise a child and a school to facilitate learning amongst students. Distilling this down into its parts misses the precious web of relationships, checks and balances that are vaporous, less tangible but very real. Whilst there is already a great body of peer-reviewed research out there that examines effective learning and great teaching strategies in considerable detail, I sometimes wonder why many refuse to read, understand or consider this body of research.

Perhaps unlike other professions, the practice of teaching is something that many think that they can easily do but is often just built upon personal experiences and intimate memories. Consider this. Everything that takes us from there to where we are now, is what makes us an evidence based profession, not one assembled from conjecture, speculation or crude league tables.

"Show me the money?" .. Show me first, the research!
Tags: education, money, motivation, research, school, teaching
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