Tom Bennett investigates the proof behind many of the popular education theories promoted to the unsuspecting teacher
2013 | 232pp | £17.99 (PB)
In his book, Tom Bennett investigates the proof behind many of the popular education theories promoted to the unsuspecting teacher by local education authorities and senior leaders under pressure to improve results, like a magic potion capable of solving all ills.
The author researches the proof behind many of the most widely accepted pieces of educational research. These include a variety of theories that many teachers will have encountered, including multiple intelligences, cooperative learning, emotional intelligence, learning to learn, the three-part lesson and thinking hats. He takes each theory in turn and works backwards to see what research is quoted to justify the claims.
In many cases, the investigations reveal that much of what we think we know in schools hasn’t been ‘proven’ in any meaningful sense. As a result, Bennett encourages teachers to consider the effectiveness in their own classrooms of the latest teaching innovations thrown at them, before following the fashion. If teachers don’t believe they work for their class, he encourages them to be vocal and speak out.
The book is not intended as an attack on all educational research, much of what is pointed out is valuable. Instead it is an attempt to put the notion of educational research back into context. He challenges educational researchers to achieve something as close to a scientific model as possible and report the results of their research with integrity.
This book will prove an interesting read to both academics embarking on educational research, and teachers who may well have sat through training days this term, promoting one of the many magic potions discussed in this book. Throughout the book, Bennett writes with humour and illustrates his points with examples from his own classroom, which will be recognisable to anyone who has ever stood in front of a class of teenagers.
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