Friday, December 19, 2008

Topic: Educational Research

10-second review: Teachers who read educational research need to look for the assumptions that underlie the theory that is at the heart of the research.

Title: “On Planning and Writing Plans—Or Beware of Borrowed Theories.” Sandra Stotsky. College Composition and Communication (February 1990), 37-57. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “However, regardless of the theory that is used for exploring the act of writing, it is as important for writing teachers to examine and understand the assumptions underlying the theory as it is for researchers to explicate and justify these assumptions.” p. 54.

Comment: Heavy stuff. But if research is difficult to read for the common, ordinary classroom teacher, the author suggests that 1. the reader locate the theory that is the genesis of the research and then, 2. identify the underlying assumptions on which the theory is based. An interesting approach to reading and understanding research findings and interpretations. She also suggests that the researcher has the responsibility to explicate those assumptions in print. RayS.

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