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How can we create Evidence-Based LEARNING?

In education we are refining and defining what teachers should do everyday based on test scores, there is a whole conversation based on just this topic alone. The TED community has a lot of ways that education could be different, some fantastic ideas on how to nurture our young minds- yet in a broken system it is hard to fight for any change. As a nurse, it is obvious to me that the need for evidence to yield change of a broken system is absolutely paramount. It is much better received to have quantifiable evidence (think grades) however I know this community here on TED and many teachers know that grades do not always create the best environment for learning. Nor do grades evaluate all types of learners on the same level. Little by little medicine is becoming open to new ideas and new ways of doing things by validation of research performed. There is wide adaptation of the new standards considered evidenced-based medicine, and even the accepted standards are subject to new research and change.

How can we create Evidence-Based Learning?

How can we encourage teachers to not just discuss but document the things they are doing that are making a difference with their students??

Could we create in communities transdisciplinary brainstorming and multiply the efforts and ideas for improving learning and create a group to help with the research. This way teacher who perhaps might feel stretched to thin or not know where to start as far as research goes will have the support they need.

I am pretty sure I have read a research article or two about adult learners and yadda yadda, this is not my field of expertise at all- So I pose the question to anyone who can give their two cents!!

Shine Always,
Autumn Frisco

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    Aug 1 2011: could you please elaborate what do you have in mind? i'm not sure whether you plan to make the curriculum evidence based, and throw out outdated information. or you want to teach children to think along these lines, seek for evidence, change views when encountering new evidence, and so on. or you want the teaching methods to be a subject to continuous reform based on hard evidence about their effectiveness, as opposed to following traditions and routines.

    all of these seem to be a good thing to me.
    • Aug 1 2011: Wow I like what you say about teaching children to seek for evidence, and be open to a change of views with new evidence! Including children in the process of change would be one way to do this. I was impressed and pleased when I saw how Jamie Oliver got the children involved in changing the system. What an awesome lesson the children both are learning and teaching. Much likehealthcare forgetting it's most valuable resource, the patient - are school boards willing to include theirs, their students?

      The idea I was shooting for was your last- continuous reform with freedom from traditions and routines. I think I should also clarify the freedom would be allowed under the scientific method as almost an umbrella for nay sayers and shield against policy and procedurewhen planning to implement. Teach teachers how to utilize how to work with scientific methods to validate what they might already be doing or to encourage them to collaborate and seek out other successes.
  • Aug 12 2011: It seems to me that the question and many of the responses actually relate to evidence-based ASSESSMENT of learning (e.g. grades, standardized tests). That has its pros and cons, but that is not really 'evidence-based learning". Evidence-based learning would be learning that is based on evidence. That happens (or fails to happen) in laboratory classes. But it could, and probably should, be tried in other types of classes. In many subjects students could be presented with the evidence that supports the facts, not just the facts themselves.
    • Aug 12 2011: I am interested in what you had to say, could you clarify what you mean by laboratory classes vs other types of classes?
      • Aug 13 2011: Some classes, particularly those in the physical sciences, incorporate periods of time in a laboratory conducting various experiments. These classes naturally lend themselves to learning based upon examining evidence. Other classes could also include more consideration of the evidence supporting the course material. For instance, history classes could present the evidence of historical records. Courses in evolution could present the DNA and fossil evidence.

        But I think this particular topic was introduced in this conversation simply by a quirk in the wording of the original question: "How can we create Evidence-Based Learning?" It appears that the intent of the question was to provoke a discussion concerning GATHERING evidence OF learning, rather than PRESENTING evidence as an IMPETUS to learning. Unless someone is interested in the latter topic, we can return to the "evidence OF learning" topic.
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    Aug 1 2011: I thought that is what internship is all about ? Hands-on ???
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    Aug 1 2011: I think evidence is the heritage of bureaucrats and we should be steering away from it.

    We don't need to improve learning in young people because they do that naturally.

    We can work on the environments in which students learn by untethering the system from evidence, paperwork, statistics and all the other administration guff that has constantly directed teachers' focus away from their students.

    The best ideas float to the top and have always done, even before Web 2.0!
    • Aug 6 2011: Floating takes a long time in many cases- and what I suggest is different than what exsists only that it is empowering the people to continously change the system. This empowerment can lead to less apathy and more willingness for teachers to teach the way the inherently know their students learn- avoid being caught in webs of policy and procedure.

      People when empowered live more passionately helping to nuetralize the ill effect incentives have on the education system. It increases satisfaction with the career for those who find a calling in teaching!