One of the best parts of winter break is that I actually have large chunks of time where I can sit down and read – rather than just the 30 minutes of SSR time at school. After racing my way through The Hunger Games trilogy, I spent a chunk of time last night and today reading articles about education. Specifically, I had come across a link to an Alfie Kohn article talking about educational research and some of the ways it is used improperly. As a scientist who is always on the lookout for ways that scientific data is ignored or misrepresented in the media (teachable moments, you know!) I thought it was interesting to look at educational research in the same way. It’s kind of a long article, but if you have the time its worth reading. The last portion – a more in depth analysis of research about homework and its (lack of) benefits – was very intriguing.
After reading the article, I perused Kohn’s website for a while as well, and looked at a few of his other articles as well. I can understand conservative critics finding issue with his progressive views, but I surely appreciate his critical look at many “common sense” practices. In many ways, it reminds me of similar ideas in Ken Kumashiro’s book, Against Common Sense (which I read for class this past semester).
Another book I received for Christmas is called Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. I’ve only looked at the first few pages; I will give a more complete review when I’ve finished it!