Whether you know it or not, there’s a battle raging out there in our public schools. The battle between rogue and real science. Former special education department chair at the University of Virginia, James Kauffman, has been on the front lines of this skirmish for a good part of his career.
According to Kauffman, “science has been neglected and abused in education too often in favor of pseudo-science, whereas a real science of education is our best and only hope for our children's future.” In this book, Kauffman shows readers the stark differences between the two, and notes how, sadly, great breakthroughs in research-based programs like Direct Instruction are ignored in favor of trendy oddities like Discovery Learning and Whole Language, approaches that have been proven to fail in repeated trials.
A synopsis by the author:
In this book, I summarize how science works, why it offers hope to educators, how science has been neglected and abused in education, and what I think science now tells us — and doesn’t tell us—about several issues in education. In describing science, I necessarily describe pseudoscience or rogue science as well. Education and disciplines related to it, especially psychology, have too often, and for far too long, been characterized by rogue science rather than the real thing. It’s disheartening to face up to the fact that education and psychology haven’t usually been scientific. As educational researcher David Berliner says, a science of education, although possible, may well be the hardest science of all. Those of us who believe that science is the best hope for education mustn’t be discouraged or intimidated by the naysayers and the difficulty of the task. We know that the insistence and persistence of many will be required. Consequently, I haven’t written a book for educators only, but for a more general audience as well — those who care about education and its improvement, which is a lot of us, if not most. Neither have I written a book for educational researchers, reviewing all relevant details of scientific (or nonscientific) studies and their conclusions on particular topics. My intention was to write a book about the general principles of a scientific approach to educational issues and provide readable summaries of what I think research and rational analysis, tell us about a few particular problems. Critiques of particular studies and the details of research design and statistical analysis are better left to purely academic publications.
Available as a printed book or as an Attainment eBook download! See the eBook tab above.
Available as a printed book or as an Attainment eBook download!
This book has received International Book Awards—Winner in the Education/Academic category and Finalist in the Science category.
By James Kauffman, Ed.D, a Full Court Press book, softbound, 297 pages, 2011.