EDTC 6431: Educational Research

I felt that Chapter 8 Improving Education Research by Christensen and Johnson (2011) made some strong points in regards with the educational research seen today. Typically research is done based upon the majority groupings when in reality the focus should be on the diverse populations and individuality of each student. Christensen and Johnson (2011) state that “education research must move toward understanding what works best from the perspective of individual students in different circumstances as opposed to what works best on average for groups of students or groups of school” (p. 3166). Christensen and Johnson (2011) further claim that “no longer will research on best practices or what works best on average across education suffice” (p. 3166). I believe that these points merit much consideration especially when research is constantly being done to improve our schools.

eReader screenshot

There is no “one-size fits all” model that works for each individual student, though this may be the easiest or best method for the majority of students. Still students are being left out or simply falling through the cracks because of the teaching styles does not cater towards their needs. I agree with Christensen and Johnson (2011) that research needs to shift towards understanding the different circumstances of the individual. Through this I feel that specific issues students are facing in schools could be better identified and resolved. Christensen and Johnson (2011) mention that students are not motivated to learn because schools continue to use monolithic ways instead of methods customized by circumstances (p. 3173). Students are individuals and learn in unique and different ways from one another, therefore research should focus on this individuality rather than what works best on average. Current methods tend to focus on fixing the problem with what works for the majority, rather than identifying the source of the specific problem then proceeding to make appropriate changes. Not only do teachers need to focus on individualizing lessons, research must head down this path as well so that evidence can support and promote these methods.

My overall experience with the eReader was a pleasant one. I thought the eReader was simple to use and had many convenient features like highlighting, bookmarking, and searching for specific words or phrases. Also the feature to right click on a word for a definition was extremely helpful. If I had a tablet (I used this eReader on my laptop) I could see myself in the future to use the eReader mostly because it is cheaper to purchase books and easier to find sections I want to reference back towards, but until then I will have to stick with using actual texts.

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.

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2 thoughts on “EDTC 6431: Educational Research

  1. Calvin,
    I think the challenge with individualizing research is that it can’t easily be applied in other circumstances. If you’re researching how a specific behavior plan works on a student with EBD in a public school in Washington it would be hard to say whether or not that plan would work for a student with EBD in another state or private school. Although I believe the key to understanding what works on an individual basis is to test it directly on individuals this inevitably makes it hard to share with one another our ideas when each student is different.

  2. I think there is a lot to be learned from looking at outliers and anomalies in the research, both in terms of the “students that fall through the cracks” that you describe, and also in the instances of schools, students, or organizations that succeed or improve, despite overall data that may show otherwise. Often, observing means or averages across a wide field of data is not helpful. To truly make gains, it is sometimes necessary to delve deeper into those anomalies to further research and start asking more pertinent questions that will drive future research and improve schools and instructional practice. Why not find out what works at a certain school, or for a certain teacher and start asking: why does it work?

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