Investors seek education profits

Policymakers and researchers believe teachers should apply research findings in schools. Investors now want to profit from this idea. An Education Week article by Sarah Sparks says investors want researchers to create highly effective methods/programs that can be scaled up for profit.

Applying research in schools crap:

Massive federal education competitions like the $650 million Investing in Innovation fund have heightened interest in practical education research, but even the most promising findings aimed at improving student learning face a long, uncertain path to become something more concrete and usable for the classroom.

Dear Ms.Sparks:
Evidently you think some education research is “practical,” which means you also think some is impractical. You deserve credit for getting the impractical part right.

Here is the link:

Cut the crap:

I know what it looks like to model and teach the six virtues of the educated person, but I don’t know what it looks like to apply research findings. When I read about it, or hear it described at in-service sessions, it sounds insulting to me because:

1. Saying teachers should know their content and use a range of instructional methods is not a new idea.
2. Asking teachers to be imaginative assumes they are not.

Philosophical teachers don’t leave in-services saying, “That’s great! I’ll do that in my classroom.” Only unimaginative, aphilosophical ones do.

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#1 Ashley Hopkins on 02.13.11 at 11:29 am


I really liked this blog! First of all, I would argue that teachers know best how to improve their classrooms, and have been doing so for generations, if not centuries, at this point. No wonder a good teacher would feel insulted at the idea that someone outside of our classroom would know what is best for our students. Also, aren’t we always warned against generalizing research findings because most students aren’t general and classroom/ school/ home environments are not controlled? I know there are many fields, such as medicine, that apply research findings to people, but just the phrase makes me feel a little nervous. I don’t think all research is completely invaluable, but applying findings to my students, young humans, seems to run the risk of stripping away their humanity… conjures Frankenstein-like images in my mind! Finally, isn’t (or shouldn’t) the goal in any educational setting, regardless of research, always be to improve the academic and cognitive performance of students, among other (possibly more important) things?


P.S. I have a few more articles and books I think you will find enjoyable! I’ll send you the information soon.

#2 Casey on 02.14.11 at 1:46 pm

Good points Ashley. It is so interesting to consider the possibility that the social science experiment has not only failed, but it has also taken us into a place so dark that we cannot see how to improve education. An inspiring, useful definition of what it means to be educated is like a flashlight that lights up where we want to go. I look forward to your readings.

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