I found myself giving a wry smile to the latest from Kevin Stannard in the TES:
For years, those of us who questioned the progressive orthodoxy in education were told that there was no evidence for our views. On my PGCE course back in the 1980s, I remember arguing with a respected lecturer in education, who assured me that there was no evidence that teaching grammar would be helpful for learning languages, for example. Any evidence I came up with was dismissed as anecdotal or right wing nonsense.
Now the boot is on the other foot and Stannard does not like it. He claims, “Making the entry barrier to research too high for most teachers to reach compromises the commendable drive for more practitioners to engage in action research.” I don’t know what evidence he has for this claim, but I would say that my wish to engage in educational research has been stimulated by reading blogs. More and more teachers seem to be doing so year after year. Stannard appears to long for a lost world before the blogosphere, where teachers who had not heard of the Hawthorne effect would be encouraged by SLT to try out the latest fad on a control group and trumpet its apparent success in a staff meeting. This would then be followed by instructions from SLT to incorporate the said fad into lessons forthwith, as its success could be vouched for by a respected colleague.
Sorry Dr Stannard, but that won’t do any more. We’ve wised up. We want proper evidence. And I think that’s a good thing.