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Director, Graduate program in behavior disorder, David Yellin College

Thank you, Lyn, for your

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Thank you, Lyn, for your letter. It so good to know that I had such positive influence on you, and that influence is now spreading to your faculty and students.Teaching is a hidden harvest, our work takes fruition long after we are gone. I am fortunate to get a glimpse of that harvest from you. I wonder if you remember me saying that as a teacher, enlightenment comes with every step?
Have a joyful holiday,

Rick

Principal at Roncalli STEM Academy

Dr. Curwin, I was fortunate

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Dr. Curwin,
I was fortunate to have an impactful teacher when I was completing my student teaching in the Bay Area. While I now live in the world of data, as a principal attempting to restart a year four turnaround school, I remember how powerful a good teacher's modeling was in shaping my views and practice. I look at data, representing the results of what we do every day, but see between the numbers. I see those things that are not as easy to quantify; the things that create the possibility for research-based instructional strategies to be effective. The teacher who taught me to actually see when I am looking was you. Your mentorship has remained with me in every phase of my career. I send my thanks to you and to all true teachers who interpret the world through a human lens in ways that a computer never will.

LearnLab Managing Director @ Carnegie Mellon

@Kieth Heggart. I couldn't

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@Kieth Heggart. I couldn't agree more with your comments. At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh we have developed a new masters program to prepare a new generation of educators who will challenge the future of learning and re-examine the goals of education and assessment. Based on our research, we have developed a one-year Professional Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS) program. This one-year program teaches instructors how to use evidence-based research to make innovative change and become leaders in the educational technology revolution. If you want to learn more about the program we have developed, see http://www.hcii.cmu.edu/masters-educational-technology-and-applied-learn...

Director, Graduate program in behavior disorder, David Yellin College

One of the reasons why I love

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One of the reasons why I love posting for Edutopia, beside wanting to change the world, is to read the comments and to start dialogue. I feel lucky at this stage of my career to still be able to generate people to think. So thank all of you who take the time to comment. Your thoughts matter. A side comment to Johnson. Yes, educational research is important, especially if a professor is seeking tenure. I find some studies fascinating and they inform my work. But they only help if we see that when done correctly, they produce facts in a frozen moment in time and that they help educators ask questions rather than prescribe answers.
I look forward to reading all your comments for all my posts and appreciate your contributions to making the lives of children even better.

Blogger at Cult of Pedagogy

(in response to Keith's

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(in response to Keith's comment) Keith, having worked as an adjunct in a teacher-preparation program, I couldn't agree more. When we sent student teachers into the field and asked them to apply research-based practices, they were often met with intense resistance from their cooperating teachers. This often came from a place of defensiveness -- a feeling that the teachers' own practices were under attack.

By the same token, I saw little effort on the university's part to involve local practicing teachers in decision-making when it came to changes in the program or course requirements for new teachers. Where there could be a strong cooperative relationship, there is most often animosity and silence.

It doesn't have to be this way, but real change would require good leadership in both camps -- people with vision and the ability to break down people's defenses so we can learn from each other. This leadership wouldn't have to be top-down; it could come from a few teachers or university faculty with a clear mission and the right skill set to get the ball rolling.

Education writer

Great article. It's so

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Great article. It's so important to remember all the factors that are at play in education research. In today's society people want information broken down into tiny, bite-sized pieces. This can't be done with most research without losing context or inserting bias. The more people that realize this the better!

Author, speaker, educator

Great piece Rick. Through

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Great piece Rick. Through the years, it has been maddening to watch some great programs that rely on a "preponderance of the evidence" get shot down or overlooked in favor of those that manipulate the numbers to support their bias. We must be very careful to avoid jumping aboard a new bandwagon simply because it touts itself as "research-based." As you correctly point out, there may be much more to the story than what meets the eye.

High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Dr Curwin, Thanks for this

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Hi Dr Curwin,
Thanks for this thought provoking post. There's one point that I would add - teachers and researchers, in my experience, often see each other as enemies - or at least not as allies. Teachers can often disregard the findings of research in favour of what they think works best - or what they have always done. Researchers, on the other hand, consider teacher's opinions to be of little value. I should mention that I have a foot in both camps - I'm a teacher who is also completing a PhD in education. I think part of the solution to this problem is developing the teacher-researcher.

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Facts, not truth. Exactly.

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Facts, not truth. Exactly. And current facts, to boot. We must not persist with labeling kids with results from performances from Grade 4 for the remainder of their academic careers. The truth (not always revealed by the facts) is that students have potential that will blossom with appropriate stimulation and environment. (And I have facts to back that up!)

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