Evaluating curricula: #2: Jamie thinks big
What is the goal?
Some readers may recall that Jamie, a protagonist in a fictional story about educators seeking to identify effective curricula for their schools, was collaborating with a central-office administratorr, Anna Fields, about how to get help from local people who knew something about research on effective instruction.
Let’s rejoin that interaction….
But, if you haven’t read the first few segments in this series, you might want to start at the beginning. Here’s a link to a catalogue of the posts. I recommend that readers start with #1.
“Yo, Anna! I know it’s winter break, so I apologize for yakking at you. But have you had any more thoughts about that companie’s [sic] research recommndations? “
: “Hey, I did. I talked with Bebopp and she had some great ideas. She said we should listen to what parents say! Duh! She’s kinda excited about helping us. But, she also said we should pay attention to what the company said about it’s own reseach…that sometimes they play a little ‘fast and loose’ with research.
: Cool! That’s great that we could have faclty [sic] professor on our team!
: Well, yes. But Brenda’s a little cautious. She tells me…told me that effectiveness rsearch isn’t her bag. She said she’s more interested in whether teachers, students, and parents
that a currilumum is effective. Made me think a bit.
Oh, yeah, makes me think, too.
: Yes, me, too….I mean, what if some people think it’s good, but…but….
Right, it doesn’t really help the kids! That’s what it makes me think. I mean, suppose that we adopt a really, really good curriculum but some parents or taechers think it’s a dog! They just tell people it’s a terrible curriculum…for whatever reasson…but the reason isn’t that kids do well.
Well…I don’t know. Are you saying that some people might say somthing’s really good when it’s actually [poop] and it’s awful when it’s actually good?
Haha! Have you ever said that word to me before? Wow! Well, anyway, I’m thinking…Man…. Yes, I can see that some people might think some teacher methods are bad, even when they are good…or good, even when they are bad. Anna, my friend, I think that question is just what we need to answer. Who can help us find objective data—no personal ideas—about effectiveness?