Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

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Anna
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Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by Anna » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:29 pm

I have yet to read the content of the report but thought I would post the link for Ben Goldacre's report for the DFE.

http://www.badscience.net/2013/03/heres ... -minister/

Sorry, I'm unsure how to create a hyperlink on my iPad. :oops:

Anna

elsiep
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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by elsiep » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Thanks, Anna.
Firstly, evidence based practice isn’t about telling teachers what to do: in fact, quite the opposite. This is about empowering teachers, and setting a profession free from governments, ministers and civil servants who are often overly keen on sending out edicts, insisting that their new idea is the best in town. Nobody in government would tell a doctor what to prescribe, but we all expect doctors to be able to make informed decisions about which treatment is best, using the best currently available evidence. I think teachers could one day be in the same position.
Although it's true the government wouldn't tell a doctor what to prescribe, NICE has a pretty good try, and I would be very interested to see how the teaching profession would manage to shake off government, evidence-base or no.


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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by kenm » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:42 am

A doctor has written and defended a thesis, so has been assessed on his/her competence to collect and evaluate evidence. I don't get the impression that all UK teachers have that capability.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by elsiep » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:15 am

Agreed, but I think they *should* have it.

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john walker
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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by john walker » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:11 pm

A doctor has written and defended a thesis, so has been assessed on his/her competence to collect and evaluate evidence. I don't get the impression that all UK teachers have that capability.
I'd have thought you'd be giving your wholehearted assent to Goldacre's paper, Ken.
Other than in small, isolated pockets, the expertise to run the kinds of trials Goldacre is advocating isn't there but he knows this and addresses it. As ever, the challenge is to identify what works. But, in finding out what works, why it works, how it can be made to work better, teachers need training and support. In the first instance, they need this as part of the process of training to be a teacher and, having become a teacher, they need it as part of their continuing professional development - just as he argues.
What is lacking at the moment is the kind of 'information architecture' he is calling for that will provide the basic structures necessary for the collection and evaluation of properly trialled evidence. Can this be brought into being? I believe it can through partnerships between schools and university departments. And I'm convinced that Goldacre is right when he says that there is a 'wave of enthusiasm for good quality evidence'.
Were such an architecture to be established, teachers would be in a much better position to tell government what works and what doesn't. As he says, there are 'huge, positive opportunities for teachers here'.
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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by elsiep » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:02 pm

kenm wrote:A doctor has written and defended a thesis, so has been assessed on his/her competence to collect and evaluate evidence. I don't get the impression that all UK teachers have that capability.
I don't think medical training is research based, is it? I thought it was theory followed by clinical practice.

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:25 pm

“Finnish teacher education is now academic, meaning that it must be based on and supported by scientific knowledge and be focused on thinking processes and cognitive skills needed to design and conduct educational research ( Niemi,2008; Jakku- Sihvonen &Niemi , 2006 ).

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maizie
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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by maizie » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:26 pm

elsiep wrote:I don't think medical training is research based, is it? I thought it was theory followed by clinical practice.
But isn't the theory informed by research?

Unlike many of the 'theories' taught to trainee teachers..

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by kenm » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:40 am

john walker wrote:I'd have thought you'd be giving your wholehearted assent to Goldacre's paper, Ken.
He describes a great improvement on the present state of education. Does he have a good understanding of the inertia and opposition that the implementers must overcome?
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by elsiep » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:31 am

maizie wrote:
elsiep wrote:I don't think medical training is research based, is it? I thought it was theory followed by clinical practice.
But isn't the theory informed by research?

Unlike many of the 'theories' taught to trainee teachers..
Ken said that a doctor has written and defended a thesis, which is usually the case when someone has a PhD, and that person would have spent at least three years engaged in hands-on research. As far as I'm aware, doctors don't do that. Presumably that's why their qualification is MD. I assume they have to do a research project, as most students do, but that doesn't mean they will evaluate research. Most of them don't seem to have time to read it, in my experience.

Teaching has always had a much lower bar to entry and required much less training (sometimes none at all). IMO, teaching is a profession in the traditional sense of the word and should be treated as such, with rigorous training, a requirement for CPD and regulated by a professional body - one that's a lot better than the GMC for doctors, preferably.


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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by kenm » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:35 am

elsiep wrote:Ken said that a doctor has written and defended a thesis, which is usually the case when someone has a PhD, and that person would have spent at least three years engaged in hands-on research. As far as I'm aware, doctors don't do that.
Apparently countries differ.

From Wikipedia:

"In some countries it is a professional doctorate where training is entered after obtaining between 90 and 120 credit hours of university level work (see second entry degree) and in most cases after obtaining a Bachelors Degree. In other countries, such as India, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sri Lanka, the M.D. is a research degree more similar to a Masters degree."
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by maizie » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:33 pm

elsiep wrote:Ken said that a doctor has written and defended a thesis, which is usually the case when someone has a PhD, and that person would have spent at least three years engaged in hands-on research. As far as I'm aware, doctors don't do that. Presumably that's why their qualification is MD. I assume they have to do a research project, as most students do, but that doesn't mean they will evaluate research. Most of them don't seem to have time to read it, in my experience.
But my point, elsiep, was that what trainee doctors are taught during their degree studies is research evidenced based, not the personal whim or belief of their lecturers. Or do you know different?

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by elsiep » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:02 am

You're absolutely right maizie.

Although personal beliefs and whims can't be ruled out entirely from any training.

elsie

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by maizie » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:59 am

elsiep wrote:Although personal beliefs and whims can't be ruled out entirely from any training.
I wouldn't disagree with you there. After all, we are all human. But at least if our beliefs are mostly informed by good empirical evidence they are less likely to screw up the people they are applied to.

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Re: Ben Goldacre's report on evidence-based education

Post by Anna » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:08 pm

Old Andrew's response to Goldacre's report - thought-provoking stuff.

http://teachingbattleground.wordpress.c ... rt-part-1/

There is also a second part to his response.

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