Friday, April 24, 2009

The state of education research

The No. 1 thing a school can do to improve its student achievement is have what Bob Marzano calls a "guaranteed and viable curriculum." (I think that's from Classroom Instruction That Works, originally, but now it's one of those things that I've heard so often I've lost track of its source. One of the Marzano books, anyway.) The No. 2 thing is have a good teacher. (Or maybe they're reversed.)

But I've been tipped off by my friend Jamie (who in turn was notified by one Skeptical Hypochondriac) to NEW! SHOCKING! RESEARCH! This study concludes conclusively in its conclusion that chewing gum should be on the list of big improvers of student achievement. They've got numbers. That proves it. 3% math improvement, right? Just chew gum. Nothing simpler.

The guy paying the tab had nothing to do with that conclusion, either. I know you're all thinking it. You can just leave, shamefaced. Of course it's legit. This study shows real advances in the field of science. The scientists have been doing science for years. They know their business. They came close to finding atmospherium by chewing gum. They know their science from Adam.

It's also possible, I suppose, that the kinesthetic effect of constant motion really does help improve concentration. But there's one thing I know: don't mess with Mother Nature, mother-in-laws, or people who say their product will instantly improve your child's smartness.

No comments: