When it comes to teaching, basic knowledge is everything. Do teachers take their work seriously from a scientific point of view? Do they make appropriate decisions based on the many variables that can affect outcomes?
Daniel Robinson, a professor and deputy dean of research at the University of Texas College of Education in Arlington, said, “A lot of what is taught to teachers and what teachers are forced to learn as part of professional development doesn’t have accurate scientific evidence.” “To improve the crop, we need people who know the difference between snake oil.”
In his course “Assessing and Eliminating Educational Interventions,” Robinson guides students through coursework that allows them to gain an understanding of educational myths. Students will also learn comprehensive research methods of educational intervention so that they can evaluate and dispel such myths.
Christina Gregory, a graduate student who is pursuing a degree in education, said: “What amazed me the most was how much information we were given in education and how many strategies we had to apply. classrooms are imported, not supported by strong evidence ”. mind, brain and education. “In fact, many of the strategies that are routinely used in classrooms today have actually been rejected, some for a decade or more.”
One of the first things the class takes into account is the concept of teaching methods: the belief that students have different learning styles, such as visual, auditory, or manual, and that the instruction should be appropriate to the given style.
“It’s been taught and promoted and promoted in education,” Robinson said. “But there is no evidence that adapting the manual to a perceived style will lead to better learning.”
Robinson said other myths include the theory of multiple minds, the social / emotional mind, and the study of discovery.
“My research and writings over the last 20 years have shown a tendency to reduce experimental research in education and an increasing trend of observational research, which does not allow us to draw causal conclusions,” he said. “One of the greatest things a field can do for the people is to protect the people from it. This means warning people when any policy or educational approach that has absolutely no scientific support is being pushed into them, which can be detrimental or just a waste of time and money. ”
Gregory, whose goal is to pursue a career in research and curriculum design, agrees.
“As teachers, we are overwhelmed with information that, even if it is not backed up by sensible research, continues to preach because we have always done things that way,” he said. “The ability to evaluate proposed research and effectively determine the accuracy of a source is an invaluable skill that all educators need to have.”
– Author Amber Scott, University Progress