April 27, 2008

Kudos to Corey; tomatoes for NY Times reporter

Corey Bower gets this week's award for careful reading with his blog entry, Limitations of Research and the Headlines that Ignore Them. He went beyond the New York Times article on a recent study and read the article. Something that reporter Kenneth Chang downplayed is the setting: college students.

Our findings suggest that giving college students multiple concrete examples may not be the most efficient means of promoting transfer of knowledge. [emphasis added]
Chang was lazy in one other way: he accepted at face value (or misinterpreted) the researchers' claims that there is no solid research on manipulatives for K-12 students: "Dr. Kaminski said even the effectiveness of using blocks and other 'manipulatives,' which have become more pervasive in preschool and kindergarten, remained untested." But there is a 1989 Evelyn Sowell meta-analysis on manipulatives in math in K-12 (JSTOR $). Also see a more recent meta-analysis by Evelyn Koresbergen, Mathematics Interventions for Children with Special Educational Needs ($).

Listen to this article
Posted in Education policy on April 27, 2008 10:08 AM |