Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Teachers and Researchers: Searching for the Truth of Classroom Change | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Teachers and Researchers: Searching for the Truth of Classroom Change | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Teachers and Researchers: Searching for the Truth of Classroom Change


I am preparing to write a section in my forthcoming book on technology integration about  the different perspectives that teachers and researchers have on changes in classroom lessons. To do that, I have looked back at the handful of posts I have written since 2009 on this point so I can figure out what to say in this forthcoming book.
Here is one from November 2009 along with a reader’s thoughtful comment (and criticism) of the position I take in the post.
Over the years, I have interviewed many teachers across the country who have described their district’s buying computers, deploying them in classrooms while providing professional development. These teachers have told me that using computers, interactive white boards, and other high-tech devices with accompanying software have altered their teaching significantly. They listed changes they have made such as their Powerpoint presentations and students doing Internet searches in class. They told me about using email with students.Teachers using interactive white boards said they can check immediately if students understand a math or science problem through their voting on the correct answer.
I then watched many of these teachers teach. Most teachers used the high-tech devices as they described in their interviews. Yet I was puzzled by their claim that using these devices had substantially altered how they taught. Policymaker decisions to buy and deploy high-tech devices was supposed to shift dominant ways of traditional teaching to student-centered, or progressive approaches. All of this in years when No Child Left Behind, extensive testing, and coercive accountability reigned. What I encountered in classrooms, however, departed from teachers’ certainty that they have changed how they teach.
I am not the first researcher to have met teachers who claimed substantial changes in their teaching in response to district or state policies. Consider “A Revolution in One Classroom; The Case of Mrs. Oublier.”
In the mid-1980s, California policymakers adopted a new elementary math curriculum intended to have students acquire a deep understanding of math Teachers and Researchers: Searching for the Truth of Classroom Change | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:


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