Distortion – Chapter 3

Experiment: Explain an example of when the “worst case scenario” actually happens It is a common perception that statisticians are liars. Statistics lie! Or, more accurately, it is easy to hide the truth through poor reporting of statistics. The statistical methods behind John Hattie’s “visible learning” series may be hiding the significant flaws in the…

Distortion – Chapter 2

Experiment: Explain an example of when the “worst case scenario” actually happens — this part is sadly typical though. If you’d like an introduction to this topic, please check out: Distortion- Chapter 1 I was first introduced to John Hattie by an administrator who was suffering from “workshop disease”. This administrator had just come back…

Distortion – Chapter 1

Experiment: Explain an example of when the “worst case scenario” actually happens. Research is a tricky field. I recently criticized an article for its findings being easily distorted to fit an unintended agenda. The author was very reflective about the limitations of the research, but the paper contained numerous sections that could have been quoted…

Emotions, Identity and Power

Experiment: Now connect it to the literature. I wrote earlier about my opinion about a student’s end of year speech critical of her school. There are a few elements of this story that connect to the literature I’ve been reading. Just a quick wrap up of the original story. The student spoke up against what…

Commodification of Teaching

Experiment: Explain something I have experienced but couldn’t explain at the time. When I was still a teacher, I sat in a staff meeting which had the stated purpose of improving morale. The first exercise was for each member of our small group to share the one word that described how they were feeling at that time…

Discourse of Elite Schools

Experiment: Finding the message behind the words. My PhD supervisor makes a very funny gesture when describing the word “discourse”. He sort of moves is fingers around like he is able to touch the individual molecules in the air. Discourse is not the same as truth, it is just the different messages around a topic…

Poems of the PhD 3

Is it a “safe simulation” To drive for excellence, But be adverse to the risk that would guarantee it. Teacher collaboration, But individualism to keep people replaceable. Opportunities to open minds and have incredible experiences, As long as a certain percentage is profit. Site-based-management, As long as it fits regulation. Teacher ownership, As long as…

A Pragmatic Approach to Educational Inequality

Experiment: Writing negatively about pragmatism. As I wrote in an earlier post, I believe that income inequality is the biggest challenge facing education today. This is a view shared by people across political lines. Milton Friedman is an education inequality warrior. He believes very passionately that unequal educational opportunities are a symptom of the way that the…

Construct Validity – it’s a big deal

Experiment: Figuring out why the statistics don’t seem to tell the whole story. Here are two charts of the same question showing the responses according to political party affiliation. These come from the PDK/Gallup Survey of Education. I’ll admit some confirmation bias that I expected the results to be bad, but I did not guess the difference in responses…

What is the biggest challenge facing education?

Experiment: Find out more This question was posed to me in one of my classes. What is the biggest challenge facing education today? I had five minutes to write and wrote this first paragraph. I believe that the biggest challenge facing education today is income inequality and its effects. The widening gap between the rich…