Coincidence is not correlation. About the same time that the UK was moving towards yes to a referendum to exit the European Union, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was downgrading coffee and upgrading “hot beverages” as a causal agent in cancer.
As the story goes, expert opinion debunked 400,000 years of the human experience of drinking hot beverages while the Remain camp boasted that expert opinion was on their side.
Thank you experts.
Leading up to the Brexit, the Conservative Party’s Michael Gove remarked: “I think people in this country have had enough of experts.” Anti-expert sentiment gained momentum and perhaps an upper hand. At the brink of the British exit from the EU and in the aftermath, experts scrambled for legitimacy:
Expertise can breed arrogance and false certainty; specialisms fall prey to group-think. Experts must be challenged and their work robustly interrogated. But that is very different from attacking evidence merely because it undermines your arguments (something that both Remainers and Leavers have done) and instantly impugning the motives of those who have produced it (ditto).
How could experts have got it so wrong? Immediately post-referendum, one pundit asked straight away: “do the experts know anything?” Another queries if we are now witnessing ‘the twilight of the experts.”
Were data saying one thing while experts were hearing another? Intentionally?
Welcome to the summer section of EDUC 500: Research Methodologies!
Paige Jaeger, LibraryDoor, April 25, 2014– This morning I received a desperate plea from a super-librarian who has seen her program go down-the-tubes with the arrival of one-on-one devices incorrectly implemented in silo-classrooms. What a shame. As a district adopts a new “writing program” with built-in research tasks, old tasks get dropped in order to accommodate new instructional models that have been crafted to increase someone’s bottom line.
Ironically, this school with a flexible schedule to allow for innovative learning endeavors, is reverting to a model of one-size-fits-all learning tasks demoralizing a cutting edge model of flexible scheduling to accommodate curriculum needs.
If this sounds like your scenario, please wrap your head around a few poignant truths for advocacy. These three teacher-assessment questions below are a great starting ground to discuss at faculty meetings, principal appointments or in the lunchroom. Simple truths such as these may help to open research collaboration doors. These are merely three of many possibilities, but are effective one-liners to help secure and maintain your foothold in research–in spite of new writing programs, learning modules, or other packaged products that arrive in your building!
Inherent in transforming information is synthesis and a conclusion…. Transfer requires only reporting of data without deep understanding. Most commercially-sold writing programs do not understand this. If assignments don’t include an element of transforming information, they are low level thought and do NOT meet our state’s model of investigation nor the objectives of the Common Core.
We are living in an Age of Misinformation – not the information age. – Students need to learn how to access information as well as synthesize it to draw conclusions. This is college and career readiness. Not, finding information on Google or mere vetted websites and jotting those notes into a pro-forma document or virtual index cards….
At the New England Library Association conference where I help pre-conference PD a few weeks ago, I met many great librarians who also bemoaned this scenario. We jokingly said we’d come up with a 12-Step program for recovery. Well, we’ve done better than that! We’ve boiled it down to 5 simple steps, because we know that brain research says the brain can’t remember more than 4 at a time!
- Administer the Google litmus test
- Insert Essential Question at the beginning which will foster synthesis of those facts and conclusions
- Require credible library resources to be used
- Embed technology for engagement – somewhere
- Insure that students have an opportunity to “present” their knowledge
Now we really know that there is more to it than that, but these simple 5 will not scare them away from “Repackaging Research.”
Read More: Librarydoor.blogspot.ca