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18 July 2013 @ 04:56 pm
A picture worth a thousand words  
I love this chart from: http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/the-central-hypocrisy-of-the-nctq-teacher-prep-institution-ratings/. It shows the source of information for the "research report" from the National Council on Teacher Quality. Here is the chart (hope it is not too fuzzy).


What I would still love is the methodology, the process followed, the training of those gathering data, and the sources of funding behind the research. Keeping all of this information in bits and pieces helps; it helps those who wish to make their point, make certain they can dictate the future of teacher education, make sure their conclusions, reached LONG before the research was undertaken, are proven.

The fact is that we bandy about the term "research" in much the same way 'INCONCEIVABLE" is uttered in The Princess Bride. Research has demonstrated the effect of reading aloud to all ages of readers. It has shown reading aloud to have positive effects on not only attitudes toward reading, but test scores as well. It improves vocabulary and reading comprehension. These were some of the studies omitted when the panel of experts reported that only elements of phonics were effective (remember back that far?) and wanted to discredit whole language. We can cite dozens of pieces of research that are the foundation of our pedagogy. I sometimes think that I repeat some of the research too often until I realize there are always folks out there that have not seen/heard it. The Lance study and its replications that demonstrated the presence of a certified librarian with a good collection can positively impact test scores (and now what has happened to those scores since library positions have been cut) bears repeating. Allowing for choice in reading is another. Having classroom libraries and also taking kids to the library is yet another.

The FACT is that our practice is informed by research already. We are not simply flying by the seat of our pants (but a later post on this, too). It may appear that we are not being thoughtful; most of that is because we are making decisions about how to proceed so quickly, so smoothly, so seemingly effortlessly, that it might appear not to be reflective. Perhaps we need to demonstrate how much thought goes into the planning and then the thought that is happening at time of execution of the lesson so that it is more apparent to those OUTSIDE the classroom day-to-day and cannot or will not see it?
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