Scientifically Based Research School Reform

1544 Words7 Pages
The policy mandates that school reforms and practices should be grounded on “Scientifically Based Research” and employ educators that are “Highly Qualified” (Manna & Petrilli, 2008, p. 63). The “Scientifically Based Research” (SBR) and “Highly Qualified” (HQ) teachers are supposedly, fruits of collaboration between educational researchers and the policy makers. Regretfully, the overuse phrases have become mantras and in the process the real definitions of the words or how they are supposed to be implemented is convoluted. Combined with school leaders’ professional wisdom, HQ should be the foundation of school reforms and SBR supposed to inform teaching practices, curriculum decisions and school programs to improve student learning. However, the expanded meaning of SBR and HQ is a mirror of the fragmented relationship between researchers and policy makers. Their relationship is difficult to gage and one that has a glimpse of distrust. SBR and HQ are only a few of many issues that created tension among its proponents, opponents and everything in between. Clearly, the think tankers and policy makers are often not working in sync. Researchers often complained that besides not being funded properly, when important findings from universities, think tanks, and regional development labs are presented, educators do not read or use all the data to make better decisions about improvement strategies. On the other hand, critics questioned the minimal impact that education research has on the improvement of schooling (Fusarelli, 2008, p. 177). In reality, because there may not have enough incentive to pay close attention to research knowledge, the policy makers do not always include research knowledge in their decision making either (Wong, p. 2... ... middle of paper ... ...ndings may be lost in translation, and the public may be confused and view the media itself as the message – the distribution of the message can sometimes be more important than the message itself. Are there ways for these different entities to work together in order to better student learning? A Fragmentation of the research effort and over simplified expectations about the role of research in education reform has created a lack of public support. The division between education research, scholarship and the practice of education in schools and other environment also exacerbate the situation. The researchers and practitioners as said before live in two separate worlds. It must also be noted that most researchers have been men, while the majorities of teachers are women and that teacher education has typically based on practical experience rather than research.
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