The relationship between evidence and teaching


A recent article by Nick Covington of the Human Restoration Project raises questions about how discourse about evidence can be harmful to the profession of teaching because it tends to create a what Gert Biesta calls "causal" and "technological" models of professional action. Instead, Covington says we must consider that teaching is value-laden. He cites the work of Yong Zhou on the shortcomings of direct instruction, a model of teaching that is a prime example of a causal and technological view of teaching. In addition, Covington also cites work by Prachi Shah as well as Paul Howard-Jones on the the importance of cultivating children's curiosity in schools. More than anything else, Covington's writing tells us that education is complex, and is not well sustained by simplistic treatments. Instead, education that is worthwhile offers students experiences that ask teachers to exercise their judgment in providing experiences that are nested in an understanding of situation and circumstance in the context of the school community....something that is not the stuff of the causal technological approach to education.

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