So I was hanging out in the #edcampVoxer “Adventure Playground Session” when someone asked me if I had research to back up using an adventure based approach as a teacher and learner. I get asked about research often as a teacher so I decided to create this graphic and tweet it.
Now, the person asking me that question, was not trying to derail the conversation, or put me in my place, (as some are wont to do) rather she was just curious. Also perhaps she needs research to back up this approach with her administration or fellow staff members.
I’d like to take this opportunity to expand on the tweet above. It’ll be short, I promise.
- Research is can be a good thing. There are tons of places to start your research: Google, the ERIC database, well-written thoughtful blogs like those done by Grant Wiggins, or James O’Keeffe. As a two-time WASC accreditation self-study writer and coordinator I lived daily inside the California Department of Education’s DataQuest site. You could also ask your district, your site admin, or even your fellow teachers online or on site. There is stuff out there, go get it.
- You can do your own research. I didn’t like what the California State University system was tell us about our inability to get students ready for college level math and English, so I did my own research. You can use Google Forms to do your own research. What a great use of PD time, to ask a question and then create a research project. Also if someone says something that sounds fishy, feel free to see if they are right by doing some fact-checking yourself.
- If it’s someone with “credentials” a consultant or an administrator with a PhD, ask them if they will take the time, after school, to show you how to set up a research study. They will either do it, which is cool, or back off, which is also cool.
- I’ll let you read some of the tweet below about #4
- I run my class like a lab class, and use my blog as my reporting tool. Other teachers like, Scott Bedley, have organized more structured research projects around important educational topics like homework using the students from his school as data.
This question is not a stop what you’re doing question, it’s an opportunity for learning:
Do you have research for that?
PS: We started having a conversation about “How do you know whether research is good/valid or not?” I’m going to leave some links below to help all of us learn more about valid research.
- What Researchers Mean By
- The importance of Sample Size, Statistical Difference, and P values
- When I teach my students about effective presentation/teaching skills I inform my practice with this well-researched book by Richard Mayer.
Now when someone cites some research I’m going to ask them what the P value is. If they look at me like I just spoke Martian, I’ll know a little more about whether or not they did their own research on the research they are quoting.