Ed Schools in Crisis
Martin A. Kozloff
Watson School of Education
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
We learn different things from different people. We learn that our friends care enough to tell us our hairdo looks great. We learn from adversaries that we look like a parrot dragged backwards through a bush. Certainly we want the warming perceptions of friends. Sometimes we need the chilling view of adversaries. This is true now in education. This paper reports the critical perception of education schools by their adversaries.
One of the earlier and certainly one of the more pointed criticisms of ed schools was written by H.L. Mencken.
To take a Ph.D. in education in most American seminaries, is an enterprise that requires no more real acumen or information than taking a degree in window dressing….Most pedagogues…are simply dull persons who have found it easy to get along by dancing to whatever tune happens to be lined out. At this dancing they have trained themselves to swallow any imaginable fad or folly, and always with enthusiasm. The schools reek with this puerile nonsense. Their programs of study sound like the fantastic inventions of comedians gone insane. The teaching of the elements is abandoned for a dreadful mass of useless fol-de-rols… Or examine a dozen or so of the dissertations…turned out by candidates for the doctorate at any eminent penitentiary for pedagogues, say Teachers College, Columbia. What you will find is a state of mind that will shock you. It is so feeble that it is scarcely a state of mind at all. (From “The war on intelligence,” December 31, 1928, published in A second Mencken chrestomathy. Vintage, 1994.)
In the 1920’s, Mencken was nearly alone. He is no longer.
There is a war in public education. The war is over beliefs about how children learn and what they need to learn; about the most effective ways to teach reading, math, science, and other bodies of knowledge; aboutaccountability and moral responsibility for educational outcomes; about what teachers need to know how to do and who should train and certify them. There are two sides to this war. One is the education establishment. The other is the education anti-establishment. (A sample of resources is at the end of this paper.) Clearly, schools of education are part of the war. The question many persons ask is whether they will or even should survive it.
The education establishment has controlled public schooling for at least 100 years. The establishment defines itself with terms such as progressive, child-centered, holistic, constructivist, and developmentally appropriate. These words are said to describe a coherent and research-validated philosophy of education, or pedagogy. The education establishment also promotes curricula and instructional methods consistent with its dominant philosophy. Examples include constructivist math and reading curricula (e.g., whole language and Reading Recovery); so-called discovery or inquiry learning; an emphasis on process (e.g., children’s so-called struggle to construct knowledge); and a strong rejection of what the establishment labels traditional, conservative, and developmentally inappropriate methods of instruction—in particular rejection of an approach (supported by the preponderance of scientific research cited at the end of the paper) that stresses teaching subjects (drawn from traditional bodies of knowledge) to the level of mastery in a logically progressive sequence of increasingly complex skills, with the teacher at first assuming a strong directive role providing extensive practice, systematic correction of errors, and regular assessment to monitor the effects of instruction.
One branch of the education establishment—calling itself critical pedagogy, critical ethnography, and postmodernist (found in the work of Michael Apple, Peter McLaren, Henry Giroux, and Paulo Friere) is based on a Marxian view of society, and has as its alleged aim the liberation of children from the oppression of schooling and other western social institutions and values.
Who are the actors in the education establishment? What are their roles? The education establishment is a large assemblage of like-minded persons and organizations. There are education leaders and spokespersons, such as Alfie Kohn, Richard Allington, Linda Darling-Hammond, and David Berliner. There are organizations that promulgate the dominant philosophy of progressivism, certify the proper socialization of teachers and administrators, and work to legitimize establishment ideas and establishment-approved curricula and methods. These organizations include NCATE, NCTE, NAEYC, NCTM, IRA, and the NEA. There are publishers, such as Heinemann, who transform establishment ideas into sellable form for wider distribution. And there are hundreds of schools of education. Judging from their websites and publications of faculty, ed schools with rare exceptions train new teachers within the boundaries of establishment doctrine. In this way, whether they wish to do so or realize they are doing so, education schools disseminate and sustain establishment ideas, values, and social agendas, and pass these on to the next generation of teachers. And this helps to sustain the establishment’s control over public schooling.
The opposition, or anti-establishment, consists of scholars (such as E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Diane Ravitch, Chester Finn., Thomas Sowell, John Stone, Lynne Cheney, Sandra Stotsky, Lisa Delpit, Kieran Egan, Richard Mitchell, and the National Association of Scholars) who critically examine the foundational so-called progressive, Romantic modernist beliefs at the core of establishment doctrine.
There are researchers, such as Mike Podgursky (on whether NCATE approval and National Board certification signify a difference), Eric Hanushek (on whether advanced teacher training makes a difference), Lance Izumi and the Pacific Research Institute (who reveal ed schools’ resistance to altering the constructivist core of their curricula despite major shifts in research and education policy), and Barak Rosenshine, Edwin Ellis, Robert Dixon, Edward Kameenui, Deborah Simmons, Jerry Brophy, Barbara Foorman, and many others on designing effective instruction.
There are foundations and unions (such as Heartland, Council for Basic Education, No Excuses, National Right to Read, Heritage, Fordham, and the American Federation of Teachers) that advocate research-based curricula, greater consumer control, and argue for either radical reform of schools of education or their replacement by more effective and less expensive alternatives.
There are consumer organizations and movements, such as Education Consumers,
Oregon Education Consumers, http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com, homeschooling, and vouchers.
There are national organizations (such as the National Council on Teacher Quality) that are critical of progressivist ideologies and social agendas, and are creating alternative forms of teacher preparation and certification that could be adopted by states.
Finally, there is the federal government (specifically, the Department of Education) that has criticized ed school curricula; presented an alternative description of what effective instruction looks like; developed an alternative, research-validated description of effective reading and early language instruction; identified the minimum set of skills new teachers need; and, through the incentive of grant money, is encouraging states to reform everything from their conception of reading acquisition down to how ed schools train new teachers to teach reading.
The education anti-establishment is larger than it has ever been. Its criticisms of dominant, progressive/constructivist philosophy and curricula are highly focused and widely shared within the anti-establishment (in other words, the anti-establishment is cohesive and has a focused mission). It is vocal. And some of its members and organizations have control over money, law, regulations, and certification. Here, in brief, is a 10-point summary of the anti-establishment critique of ed schools.
First, anti-establishment writers assert that ed schools offer little convincing evidence that new graduates know how to teach. Few education schools (with notable exceptions in Louisiana, Oregon, Kansas, Texas, and Florida) evaluate students during and at the end of their curriculum in light of an objective, performance-based inventory of knowledge and practical skills derived from the preponderance of scientific research on effective instruction. Nor are more than a few ed schools able to show that interns and new graduates foster substantial change in the children they teach. This absence of direct evidence that ed schools serve their manifest function helps anti-establishment writers to explain why ed schools seek certification from organizations such as NCATE. Most ed schools must rely on external organizations to provide a legitimizing seal of approval. This sustains asymbiotic relationship between ed schools and certifiers. Indeed, the more ed schools come under criticism from the anti-establishment, the more new certifying organizations are created—each with a predictable set of progressivist standards.
Second, anti-establishment writers argue that new graduates are not taught exactly how to teach and are ill-prepared when they have their own classrooms. Ed schools teach students to construct superficial lesson plans, write reflective journals, create literacy philosophies, and assemble these into portfolios, but new graduates do not know exactly how to teach concepts, rules, and cognitive strategies; do not know exactly how to teach school children to synthesize elementary skills into larger wholes; do not know exactly what sorts of errors school students will make in each subject and how to correct errors; do not know exactly how to design instruction so that it fosters the different phases of learning (acquisition, fluency, generalization, retention, and independence); and do not know exactly how to teach language, reading, math, and other subjects.
Anti-establishment writers point out that education professors respond to this criticism by arguing that it takes many years on the job before new teachers will be adequately skilled. For example, one influential establishment figure wrote:
Saying that we are determined to teach every child to read does not mean that we will teach every child to read…The best we can do… is… to ensure that, if not every child lives up to our hopes, there is a minimum of guilt and anguish on the part of teachers, students, and parents. (p.441) Smith, F. (1992). Learning to read: the never-ending debate. Phi Delta Kappan, 74, 432-441.
Anti-establishment writers respond to this sort of defense by asking: (1) Is this an example of moral responsibility? (2) Isn’t this an example of blaming children instead of their teachers’ ill-preparation? and (3) If most of what teachers know about teaching is learned on the job, why not teach new teachers on the job, in an apprentice model?
Third, anti-establishment writers assert that the dominant majority of professors in typical ed schools (i.e., progressive and constructivist) arrogate to themselves and to their schools a mission and social agenda contrary to what is wanted by the public. Many education professors portray themselves, and claim that teachers should see themselves, as stewards of America’s children, as social revolutionaries (or at least social reformers) positioned to redress alleged failings of our society, as advocates of the socially disadvantaged, seeking to foster equality and social justice. The anti-establishment sees this as a stunning example of hubris. No one asked, elected, or appointed education professors and ed schools to be social reformers. Nor is there reason to believe that education professors possess the humility and wisdom needed to do this. And the social agenda surely distracts education students from the one thing that is mandated and paid for by the public—namely, to learn exactly how to use research tested routines to teach most subjects.
Fourth, the anti-establishment argues that ed school teacher training curricula rest on and are misguided by empirically weak and logically flawed constructivist speculations on how children learn, and therefore how children should and should not be taught. Following are statements found in establishment writings that have had a powerful influence on what is taught in ed schools, and therefore a strong influence on how new teachers misteach.
“Children must develop reading strategies by and for themselves.” (p.178) Weaver, C. (1988). Reading process and practice. Exeter, NH: Heinemann.”Knowledge of reading is developed through the practice of reading, not through anything that is taught at school.” Smith, F. (1973). Psychology and reading. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
“When language (oral or written) is an integral part of functioning of a community and is used around and with neophytes, it is learned ‘incidentally.'” Artwergen, B., Edelsky, C. & Flores, B. (1987). Whole language: What’s new? Reading Teacher 41, 144-154.
“Learning is continuous, spontaneous, and effortless, requiring no particular attention, conscious motivation, or specific reinforcement.” (p. 432) Smith, F. (1992). Learning to read: The never-ending debate. Phi Delta Kappan, 74, 432-441.
“Children can develop and use an intuitive knowledge of letter-sound correspondences [without] any phonics instruction [or] without deliberate instruction from adults.” (p. 86) Weaver, C. (1980). Psycholinguistics and
reading. Cambridge, MA: Winthrop.
“We want to see reading as inquiry, writing as inquiry, classroom discipline as inquiry, and both teaching and learning as inquiry. Instead of organizing curriculum around disciplines, we want to organize curriculum around the personal and social inquiry questions of learners…Inquiry as we see it is about unpacking issues for purposes of creating a more just, a more equitable, a more thoughtful world…Theoretically, education-as-inquiry finds its roots in whole language, sociopsycholinguistic, or, these days what we prefer to call socio-semiotic theory or what others call cultural studies.” (pp. 192-3) Harste, J.C., & Leland, C.H. (1998). No quick fix: Education as inquiry. Reading Research and Instruction, 37, 3, 191-205.
“We cannot teach another person directly; we can only facilitate his learning.” Rogers, C. (1961). On becoming a person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
In other words, learning is not hard. Knowledge is acquired incidentally, without explicit instruction. Children do not acquire knowledge from a teacher; they discover it. Teachers therefore should not teach; they should merely facilitate. The above kinds of statements regarding language and reading are easily found as well in the work of constructivist math and science educators, and professors of early childhood education who prescribe what they (with virtually no serious experimental research) deem “developmentally appropriate practices.”
Fifth, the anti-establishment argues that when teachers use so-called progressive curricula and teaching methods taught in ed schools (such as a whole language approach to beginning reading, constructivist math, and inquiry approaches to literature and science), a substantial proportion of school children do not learn—as reflected in low school achievement overall and by enormous discrepancies between students of different social classes and ethnic groups. Indeed, students most likely to be ill-served (namely, the disadvantaged and minorities) are the very students whom progressive education professors claim to champion.
Sixth, it is said that ed schools do not adequately teach students the logic of scientific reasoning; specifically, how to define concepts and judge the adequacy of definitions; how to identify the propositions and arguments in a text; how to assess the logical validity of an education professor’s or writer’s argument and the credibility of conclusions. Nor, it is said, do ed schools have students read original works (to see if in fact Piaget said what is claimed for him), to read original research articles, meta-analyses, and other literature reviews—so that ed school students themselves discover the most trustworthy principles of instruction and the most effective curricula, rather than merely trust what education professors tell them to believe.
Instead of research articles, data, and logic, education students are induced into the establishment thought world with a set of emotionally appealing but empirically empty shibboleths taught in every course, that are presented as knowledge and not the intellect-numbing mantra they really are. Following are examples of common terms and prescriptions in ed schools that either don’t mean anything or that are invalidated by elementary logic and serious research. In other words, most of the following terms and prescriptions are best understood not as a summary of wisdom in the field but as advertising claims for constructivist, “child centered” methods and publications.
1. “Best Practices.”
[This is the term by which so-called progressive, “child-centered” education professors and book writers valorize what they preach. No honest or even logical person could ever claim to know what is best.]
2. “Developmentally appropriate practices.”
[This phrase is used to produce a false binary opposition between (a) the so-called child-centered, progressive instruction advocated by establishment education professors (e.g., pre-school children move around the classroom from one to another “experience center”—blocks, books, paints–to “inquire”) and (b) more teacher-directed, structured instruction for some subjects as advocated by the anti-establishment. The binary opposition allows progressivist professors to demonize (as “developmentally inappropriate”) whatever they do not–at the moment—sell or publish.]
3. “The teacher is a facilitator rather than a transmitter of knowledge. Students must discover and construct knowledge on their own.
[This is another false binary opposition. Moreover, the preponderance of scientific research supports the teacher actually teaching—showing students how to solve problems, leading them through solutions, testing or checking to see if students have gotten it, correcting all errors, giving more examples, and providing more practice and opportunities for independent application in the future.]
4. “Homogeneous grouping for a short time each day for certain subjects based on students’ current skills is bad. It lowers self-esteem and creates tracks. It is discrimination.”
[This is an example of constructing a politically correct dream world and expecting other persons to live in it. In fact, teachers learn very quickly that children in the same class are not equal–that is, are not identical. Some need more learning opportunities, assistance, individual attention, and practice than other students. Some students in a class are ready for harder material than other students. Teaching to a heterogeneous group (that is, everyone gets the same instruction despite their differences) means that virtually no children receive the kind of instruction from which they would most benefit. The call for heterogeneous grouping (and the rejection of homogeneous grouping for a short time each day in, for example, reading and math) means that students’ initial differences really do become tracks because the neediest students fall even farther behind.]
5. “Teachers should not correct errors immediately and consistently. Error correction makes students dependent on the teacher and threatens self-esteem.”
[This prescription flows from the constructivist notion that students should construct knowledge and not be taught directly. The problem, of course, is that if the teacher does not teach students what errors are and how to correct them, many students will not figure it out on their own. Therefore, errors will be repeated and in time students will have huge knowledge gaps that are impossible to fill without an enormous expenditure of time and effort; e.g., reteaching basic math skills to students who have no idea what is going on in algebra class. Predictably, these students end up both unskilled and with low self-esteem.]
6. “Frequent practice is not an effective way to foster mastery and high self-expectations. Practice is boring and inhibits creativity. Drill and kill.”
[This statement is simply false, but it is consistent with the anti-authority thread in educational progressivism that sees practice as some form of regimentation, rather than the only sure route to mastery—an idea taken for granted in every field (dance, music, martial arts, sports) outside of education schools.]
7. “Teachers should create their own curricula and lesson plans, rather than follow field tested programs. Programs disempower teachers and hinder self expression.”
[This statement calls for teachers—with virtually no training in how to design instruction—to prepare not merely a few lessons but whole year-long curricula in reading, math, spelling, writing, science, and so on. The task is of course impossible and means that at best students receive ill-designed instruction. Moreover it means that teachers are implicitly field testing each lesson on their own students. It is doubtful that many families want their children to be part of such experiments. Instead of empowering teachers, this statement, in the end, leads to the disempowerment of teachers as they are denied the tools (field tested programs) that would make them master teachers. Doubtless the underlying reason why education professors and ed schools abhor effective field tested programs in math, reading, spelling, writing, and other subjects is that these programs make education courses and education professors’ endless innovations irrelevant to new and veteran teachers alike. Teachers would not need to take four courses that superficially cover eight approaches to teaching reading; they would simply use one of the few programs that work the best.]
Without a background in logic, and ignorant of independent bodies of research literature, education students are unable to engage in the reflection so often spoken of in schools of education, to see if there is anything credible in the mantra of progressivism they are taught.
Seventh, the anti-establishment asserts that education professors typically read little that challenges what they already believe; ignore research that invalidates their child-centered, constructivist thought world; and mount disingenuous arguments against the preponderance of scientific research that challenges what they teach. For example, it is said that education professors do not read the Report of the National Reading Panel (one of many huge literature reviews), and do not have their students read this and other reviews. Or, they dismiss these reviews, and teach their students to dismiss these reviews, with off-handed comments such as, “All research is flawed” or “This document is politically motivated.” This self-imposed and self-defensive ignorance helps to ensure that what education professors believe and teach remains, to them, unchallenged. This ignorance also gives the anti-establishment good reason to dismiss the scholarly pretensions of education professors and, instead, to see ed schools as ideology-driven, nonrational, disconnected from external bodies of scientific research, unaccountable for what they teach, and therefore vulnerable to the charge that ed schools have many of the features of a closed society, or cult.
In addition, ed schools sustain a progressivist-constructivist thought world by hiring persons who are educationally correct—i.e., who espouse the same doctrine as the committee that hires them, and therefore won’t upset existing relations of power and won’t (by drawing on different bodies of research) challenge anyone to think very hard.
An eighth criticism from the anti-establishment is that education professors and ed schools generally occupy a safe distance from the public that: (a) pays them and (b) is harmed by the pernicious or at least worthless fads (whole language, constructivist math) that come from education professors and that continually infest schools. Education professors and ed schools have no contract with children, families, teachers, and schools; have little direct contact with children, families, teachers, and schools; and receive no corrective consequences for sending ill-trained new teachers and destructive fads into the schools.
This insularity makes it possible for education professors and education schools to regard their activities as a form of play. They adopt a philosophy (say, constructivism or postmodernism); they think of interesting ways it could be used in schools; they have exciting conversations with like-minded colleagues; they get a grant (or at least get a school) that will enable them to implement their new idea; they take some kind of data, usually field notes that support what they already believe; and then publish a series of articles that bring tenure and prestige. Anti-establishment writers consider this a perversion of the idea of scholarship and of the mandate that ed schools turn out teachers who know exactly how to teach, and not turn out fanciful and fashionable projects that waste children’s irreplaceable time and in essence constitute exploitation of public schools.
A ninth criticism is that ed schools attempt to maintain the appearance of being self-reflective, in touch with scientific research in the field, and responsive to the needs of schools by conjuring up one after another innovation or initiative. But these innovations and initiatives do nothing to change the core progressivist thought world and teacher training curricula, and often do little or nothing to assist public schools. Recent examples—strongly criticized by the anti-establishment—are the so-called infusion of technology into public schools (e.g., computerized reading programs), multiple intelligences, “brain-based” teaching, and extraordinarily expensive remedial reading programs of questionable merit.
A final criticism from the anti-establishment is that unlike medicine, structural engineering, and food science, ed schools do not have a knowledge base shared within and across schools, and that rests on scientific research–i.e., experimental, longitudinal, quantitative, replicated research whose findings are turned into conclusions and instructional implications only after they are examined in the light of the rules of right reasoning. In other words, ed schools are anomic cultures. Neither old nor allegedly innovative curricula and methods are generated by a solid body of empirical propositions that say, If you do X, Y will happen. Nor are so-called innovative curricula and methods rejected because they are found to be logically absurd and empirically pernicious to children. For, there are no empirical research generalizations and no rules for reasoning that are accepted as being independent of and as having an authority greater than what the education professor or school may think of them, and that therefore oblige an intellectually honest professor or school to reject groundless beliefs and fanciful innovations. Indeed, the tenets of constructivism and postmodernism attack the very possibility that there can be any truths and rules for reasoning external to the individual—for these independent truths and rules (given the egoism bred by the Romantic modernist thought world) are said to stifle the academic freedom and creativity of the individual. Unfortunately, this anomie has left unchallenged fatally flawed curricula that damage the life chances of many children who depend on the honesty, humility, and rationality of educators.
In summary, schools of education are in a crisis of which they may be only vaguely aware. The anti-establishment—both by its critique of ed schools and by its efforts to create alternatives to ed schools—challenges ed schools in at least four ways.
1. There is a challenge to the validity and reliability of what ed schools say about their effectiveness; e.g., questioning that ed schools really do provide graduates with the most useful and research-based teaching principles and skills; that ed school graduates leave with a solid understanding of curricular and instructional design; that ed school graduates have been taught enough about the logic of verification that they can critically evaluate the claims of professors, authors, and publishers.
2. There is a challenge to the credibility of ed school claims (and establishment leaders’ claims) that ed schools are the best place and best way to train new teachers.
3. There is a challenge to the monopoly that ed schools have had over the training of new teachers. This is because both the anti-establishment (such as the National Council on Teacher Quality) and, more ominously, universities and states themselves, are developing alternative ways to train teachers–by-passing ed schools altogether or giving a much reduced ed school faculty only a small role to play. Examples include teacher training done by colleges of liberal arts, internet teaching and proficiency testing, and in-school apprenticeships.
4. Finally, in view of the challenge to ed school credibility, legitimacy, and monopoly, the final challenge is to existence. If universities and states develop faster and cheaper ways to produce effective teachers, and especially in a time of budget cuts, we may well see the disappearance of ed schools as we know them, in much the same way that in the 1970’s state mental hospitals and state training schools all but disappeared when less expensive and more effective community alternatives were made possible by medical and instructional technologies, and when replacing these institutions was seen as a moral imperative once their inner workings were exposed.
It is tempting to believe that the anti-establishment challenge to ed schools is some kind of backlash or a mere political move. However, for ed schools to ignore or reject the critique would be a form of denial akin to diabetic patients dismissing doctors’ warnings that they change their diet or die, because doctors have something to gain. I suspect that ed schools are not likely to notice the challenges, are not likely properly to examine themselves, and are not likely to improve themselves, unless they criticize themselves in light of the case made against them by the anti-establishment. In summary, the handwriting
is on the wall. It is written in plain English. It is a foolish king indeed who scoffs at what it says.
1. Whole language at http://www.google.com/search?q=whole+language&btnG=Google+Search&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8
2. Developmentally appropriate practices at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&q=developmentally+appropriate+practices
3. Critical pedagogues. Michael Apple, Peter MacLaren, Henry Giroux, and Paulo Friere
4. Alfie Kohn http://www.alfiekohn.org/
5. Organizations that promulgate and legitimize the dominant ideas and practices, and ensure proper socialization via certification.
a. NCTAF and Linda Darling-Hammond. http://www.nctaf.org/publications/WhatMattersMost.pdf
b. NCATE http://www.ncate.org/
c. NBPTS http://www.nbpts.org/
d. NCTM http://www.nctm.org/
e. NAEYC http://www.naeyc.org/
f. NCTE http://www.ncte.org/
1. Richard Mitchell, The Underground Grammarian. “The Graves of Academe” and “The Holistic Hustle.” Online at http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/
2. J.E. Stone. “Developmentalism: An Obscure but Pervasive Restriction on Educational Improvement.” On-line at http://olam.ed.asu.edu/epaa/v4n8.html
3. Grossen, B. (1998). “What does it mean to be a research based teaching profession?” On line at http://www.higherscores.org/
4. The case against teacher certification. See also Mike Podgursky’s critiques of NCATE, national boards, and teacher certification. At
5. Eric Hanushek’s critiques of the assertion that class size and advanced teacher training make a difference in student achievement http://edpro.stanford.edu/eah/eah.htm
6. Education Consumers at http://www.education-consumers.com/ See articles by John Stone.
7. Fordham Foundation at http://www.edexcellence.net/
8. “The Tyranny of dogma.” Chester Finn & Dianne Ravitch, at http://www.fordhamfoundation.org/library/epciv.html
9. Hoover Institution at http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/research/k-12initiative/k12publications.html
10. National Council For Teacher Quality. Alternative certification at http://www.nctq.org/
11. Council for Basic Education at http://www.c-b-e.org/
12. Education Leaders Council at http://www.educationleaders.org
13. Chester Finn. Evaluating teacher quality at http://www.fordhamfoundation.org/better/quest/tqfbt.html
15. Oregon Education Consumers
14. No Excuses
B. Scientific Research That Provides Sounder Instructional Design and More Effective Curricula Than So-called Developmentally Appropriate, Child-Centered, Constructivist Holism
1. Barak Rosenshine’s papers at http://www.uncwil.edu/people/kozloffm/rosenshine.html
2. Papers on effective instruction at http://www.usu.edu/teachall
3. Ellis et al., “Research synthesis on effective teaching principles and the design of quality tools for educators.”
On-line at http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/tech06.html and http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/tech05.pdf
4. Grossen, B. et al., “Reading Recovery: An evaluation of costs and benefits.
On-line at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~bgrossen/rr.htm
5. Effective reading instruction and arguments against whole language at http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/reading.html
6. Anderson, J.R., et al. Applications and Misapplications of Cognitive Psychology to Mathematics. Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University.
On-line at http://act.psy.cmu.edu/personal/ja/misapplied.html
7. Dixon, R. “Review of High Quality Experimental Mathematics Research.” University of Oregon. National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators. On-line at http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/math/math.html
8. Critiques of constructivist math. Mathematically Correct at http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/
9. Teacher certification and training at
10. State initiatives regarding accountability and teacher training http://www.nctq.org/states/index.htm
11. Heartland Institute: School Reform News at http://www.heartland.org/
12. Market Driven Schooling; e.g., vouchers “Understanding market-based school reform.” Walberg, H.J., & Bast, J.L. (1998). Heartland Institute. Online at http://www.heartland.org
13. Publishers of scientifically researched curricula: Sopris West (http://www.sopriswest.com), Curriculum Associates (http://www.curriculumassociates.com), SRA/McGraw-Hill (http://www.sra4kids.com).
14. Federal and state government: money, law, certification, moral leadership. Examples include the Reading First Program, large-scale research on reading, and research reviews. Seehttp://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/reading_resources.html