What was the first thing that came to mind when you saw that blog title?
Which emoji matches your thinking?
Reading the Research
that someone else has done?
Research about Reading?
These are not necessarily the same. So let’s explore just a bit. If I put “reading research” into “The Google” – this is what I get:
Think about it. 695,000,000 results and the first one that comes up is Reading Rockets. It’s a “.org” so I can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s not a commercial site so I don’t have to worry about ads or someone selling things. Reading Rockets link
How reputable is Reading Rockets?
Who runs it?
Where does the information come from?
What biases exist?
When would I use this site?
Some of those questions can be answered from the “About Page”. Some require a bit more clicking. The information is reasonable and the classroom strategies might be a source to use as a quick survey or “screen” of what’s available.
And just in case you did not click and go to Reading Rockets, here is part of their home page.
But is this a source you can trust?
. . . It depends.
What do you need? What are you looking for?
If instead I go to Google Scholar (which is on my toolbar for quick access), here’s what the same “reading research” search results look like.
The results are fewer. About 5,030,000. And the very first citation is the National Reading Panel Report from 2000. I can see the number of times this source has been cited as well as related articles. If you’ve moved on to a major eye roll because you did not need “Research 101′ in this blog post, just stop and think. How many of your peers know the difference? How many of your administrators know the difference? (And if you think it’s old, 2000, do remember that it was the last independently convened panel to study reading research . . . despite its flaws!) (Krashen, S. (2004) False claims about literacy development. Educational Leadership 61: 18-21. https://tinyurl.com/y9nhlmo7 )
Why does it matter?
If the solution to a questions is a Google search, I have just shown you the difference. Terms that are thrown around in the education world a lot are “research-based, evidence-based, and scientifically research-based.” And they are NOT without a great deal of controversy.
A Second Example
The following blog post was referenced on both Twitter and Facebook. Hmmm . . . sometimes nefarious social media platforms. Sometimes NOT. Sometimes a great source. In my farming background, again, how do we sort out the wheat from the chaff?
I don’t know Lindsay, but I do plan to find out if she will be at #NCTE18 to connect. DOL is one old, out-dated practice that has to stop. Over 50 years of research has proven that grammar instruction does NOT improve writing. Writing improves writing. Showcasing “golden sentences” in personal work and patterning writing after others. Some brilliant minds like Jeff Anderson and Dan Feigelson have published examples as well as many chapters in other books have research-based examples.
A Third Example
This list. Research-Based Programs
“Where did it come?
What criteria was used to curate the list?
Who developed the “protocol” that was used to evaluate the programs?
Where are the reviews/protocols of the programs on the list?
What can I learn from the URL?
What questions remain after a quick perusal of the list?
How do I find answers to these questions?”
Who do I turn to when I need answers? Who are my sources? Who are my most trusted sources? Who are my experts? Who are my “super-experts”?
One source that I can always trust is Dr. Nell Duke. Her article “10 Things Every Literacy Educator Should Know about Research” is a MUST READ. Every. Educator. in. EVERY. building. link
Tune in Thursday night to the #G2Great chat at 7:30 CST/ 8:30 EST for a lively conversation about just this topic. #BetterTogether
Per usual, my #OLW “Curious” brought me to this point. On October 2, 2013, I blogged about the research on the “Effectiveness of K-6 Supplementary Computer Reading Programs” here. Do those same considerations apply? Do you now have data that supports that those programs work for your students in your building? Or are you still in search of the one perfect program?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Another Resource: Link
Truth & Research: What to Consider Before Selecting Literacy Curriculum and Programs
The Straw Man aka Balanced Literacy is NOT Whole Language Link
Problems with the National Reading Panel Report – From the Teacher in the Room – Link