Is it still “what works in schools”?

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

We’re in a period of time when we should think about “dog years” and not calendar years when it comes to education.  For example, just 8 years ago in 2003 a book was published by a well known education writer – What Works in Schools: Translating Research into Action by
Robert J. Marzano.  While Marzano’s book includes a number of findings to which most educators respond “duh,” what I found most interesting about the book then was the way Marzano frames some of his findings.  The table that shows “Factors Influencing Achievement” intrigued me.  I asked questions like “what is a ‘guaranteed and viable curriculum’?” all the way to “what is ‘motivation’?” and read the book to gain deeper understanding.

Does this book, published 8 years ago, assume bricks and mortar schools?  Does is assume a face-to-face teacher-to-student relationship?  Does it assume a connected, networked learner?  Should we throw out everything we knew or thought we knew about education up to, say, 2010?  Or, should we think differently about everything that we knew about education?  Regardless, we can’t think the same way about the same issues and expect anything to change.


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