Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Research Based Mania: Education Perfection

I must keep reminding you that I am extremely new to the teaching world, therefore my view is very limited, take what I say with a grain of salt!
One thing that keeps coming back to me as striking is the amount of money and research that goes into education. When I load up my Tweetdeck, I get a whole load of articles that my great PLN have posted. The amount articles, blogs, podocasts, etc. focus on we should and should not be doing as teachers is a bit overwhelming. There such a push for education perfection that best practices have already change from what they told me in college three years ago (2010 is a major time of change). How does one keep their head on straight?
The obvious major check and balance is that this reform must be researched based, and not just an opinion (just like this post!). This makes me wonder who is keeping the researchers in check? The skewing of results is so easy!
Sidenote: I confess I manipulated a science fair project once in 7th grade. Does Gatorade effect mice? Control Group: A mouse running on a wheel that drank water is timed. Experimental Group: A mouse running on a wheel that drank Gatorade. How did I get the results I wanted? I let the mouse with water run a bit, then held the wheel and he got off. I let the mouse with Gatorade run his heart out. Sorry Mrs. Tumisto! I cheated.
Could the same manipulation be replicate for the educational researcher (kids on Gatorade, joke!)? What it funding and his job depend on his findings? What if he has already contracted to write a book about the findings he believes will come? I don't know anyone else, but being a man I have trouble with staying focused when there are so many directions to go. Anyone other new teachers feeling this too?
This post is not in anyway to say that I do not believe in searching for best practice and implementing it. I am the ambitious ready to try it guy at the in-service meetings (the vet's sometimes despise me!). My only reason for this rant is that I believe we can easily overwhelm teachers with so many things to focus on, that we have trouble focusing on anything. (Kind of like how we have a zillion PA Standards)
The #EDCHAT: What are the essential skills needed by today's educator was a nice THINKTANK. I would like to see the most common skills boiled down to a top 10, and then have some research done on them (with a close eye on the guy with the PHD sarcasm).
What is your main focus (or top two focuses) as a Teacher?

1 comment:

  1. My main focus is to share my l ove of math and science with my students and to hopefully get some of them to love it too.I do this by trying to make it relevant and interesting to learn.