October 23, 2005

Scientifically proven, research-based instructional practices

2 cents worth blogger David Warlick has an interesting couple of questions up. The responses are particularly interesting:

The past two entries have concerned pre-service technology training — a request from a friend by e-mail, who is preparing for an upcoming “technology in education” course. In the answers, the words innovation and inventiveness have appeared in a number of comments. I’d like to ask two more questions, and welcome comments:

1. During the past several years, we have been directed to utilize scientifically proven, research-based instructional practices in our classrooms. How does asking teachers to innovate and to become inventive in their teaching reconcile with research-based teaching?
2. If we are becoming more innovative and inventive in our teaching, who gave us permission to do that?

I was particularly interested in this comment by Jeff Utecht on internships and problem-based learning as these are 2 issues my colleague and have been discussing quite a bit recently, tho neither of us have much experience in this field.
Authentic real world audiences and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) are two scientifically proven practices that allow teacher to innovate and invent on the spot. Again and again research shows that real-world audiences inspire students to be more invested in their learning, and through a PBL approach you allow students to be creative and innovative at the same time. If you want to see this approach in action take a look at The Big Picture schools. There is also a new video out at Edutopia with an interview and video with Dennis Littky the director of The Big Picture school project

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