Follow the Science to School: Evidence-Based Practices for Elementary Education (Paperback)
"Follow the science."
The message seems straightforward: Identify best practice according to the evidence, and then do it.
But it's not quite that simple in the real world.
It's also clear that "the science" is constantly contested, both by scientists and the larger public. That's the essence of science: no one gets the exclusive right to claim what the evidence says, much less a permanent right to do so.
Yet for all its limitations and complexities, "following the science" is one of the primary ways that we humans have made progress over the centuries. It has allowed us to solve problems at a global scale like modern farming that feeds billions, why infant mortality has plummeted, and life spans have expanded in ways that our ancestors could have never imagined.
So, the editors identify what the science tells us about evidence-based practices in elementary schools and, based on the experiences of highly effective elementary schools, describe what this looks like in the real world of classrooms.
Following the science into its application in this way--and sharing how it works on the ground--provides workable answers to key questions rather than challenging every teacher, school, or district, to figure out those answers on their own.
About the Author
Michael J. Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Education Commission of the States. An award-winning writer, he is the author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma, editor of Education for Upward Mobility, and co-editor of How to Educate an American. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Slate, and appears frequently on television and radio. Petrilli helped to create the US Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement and the Policy Innovators in Education Network. He serves on the advisory boards of the Association of American Educators, MDRC, and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland. Kathleen Carroll is longtime education journalist and manuscript editor at Education Next. Her longform, data-driven reporting has won top prizes from the Education Writers Association, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Investigative Reporters and Editors, among others. She has more than two decades of experience in strategic storytelling and analysis, including as publications editor at TNTP. She frequently partners with leading foundations, researchers, and practitioners to explain the ideas and innovations that advance opportunity for students across the economic spectrum. kathcarroll.com Barbara Davidson is a former classroom teacher of learning-disabled students who has worked for the past 35 years to advance three levers for producing K-12 academic improvements: the role that high-quality curriculum plays in supporting teacher excellence, the importance of building students' background knowledge of the world as a strategy for reading success, and the octane that specific evidence-based instructional practices can provide for learning. Barbara runs StandardsWork (www.standardswork.org), a national nonprofit that promotes research on the "curriculum effect" and elevates both educator and family voices in support of a curriculum renaissance. She also serves as Executive Director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign (www.knowledgematterscampaign.org) which, among other things, sponsors the Knowledge Matters School Tour designed to "find the good and praise" districts that are utilizing these three levers to change outcomes for students.