Monday, July 13, 2009

Fads could end with corrected beliefs

After making a few such “errors” in public, reading scientists have begun, in the last 20 years, to get it right. But the only reason teachers can have confidence that researchers are now “getting it right” is that researchers made it open, public knowledge when they got things wrong. Proponents of untested and pseudo-scientific educational practices will never point to cases where they “got it wrong” because they are not committed to public knowledge in the way that actual science is. These proponents do not need, as Dennett says, “to get others to help in making the corrections” because they have no intention of correcting their beliefs and prescriptions based on empirical evidence.

Education is so susceptible to fads and unproven practices because of its tacit endorsement of a personalistic view of knowledge acquisition—one that is antithetical to the scientific value of the public verifiability of knowledge claims. Many educators believe that knowledge resides within particular individuals—with particularly elite insights—who then must be called upon to dispense this knowledge to others.

from Stankovich & Stankovich page 10 (first full paragraph)
available as a .pdf HERE.

1 comment:

Mark Pennington said...

Education does have more than its share of fads. Check out a brief history of spelling fads and trends at