Report on Teachers in Digital Age Lacks Rigor of Evidence

Contact: 

William J. Mathis, (802) 282-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Luis A. Huerta,  (212)-531-1638, huerta@tc.columbia.edu

URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/bslolbm

 

BOULDER, CO (April 3, 2012) – The Fordham Institute’s Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction, an advocacy document outlining a vision for how technology might transform the teaching profession, provides little or no empirical research evidence to support its central claim that digital age technologies will improve the education system, according to a new review.

The report was reviewed for the Think Twice think tank review project by Luis Huerta of Teachers College at Columbia University. The review is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.

Huerta writes in his review that the report’s rationale is based on claims that the current education system lacks the capacity to support revolutionary changes needed to unleash the technological innovations of online instruction that will yield increased effectiveness and efficiency.

The report explains that effective teachers are central to the demands of online instruction and will be even more necessary in the digital age than in the current system. It asserts that the elements that constitute effective teaching can be broken down into discrete skills and then packaged and distributed to a wider group of learners via digital media.

Harnessing the talents of effective teachers will be critical in both meeting the needs of students and in making teaching a “true profession” (p. 2) through increased specialization and tiered salary structures, the report asserts.

Huerta notes that while the report addresses an important topic, the empirical research evidence to support its fundamental premise is insufficient and inadequate. Consequently, he concludes,  the report amounts to only a vision of what changes might be necessary as the digital revolution comes of age in public education.

 

Find Luis Huerta’s review on the NEPC website at:

http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-teachers-digital-age

 

Find Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction, by Brian and Emily Hassel on the web at:

http://www.edexcellence.net/publications/teachers-in-the-age-of-digital-instruction.html

 

The Think Twice think tank review project (http://thinktankreview.org) of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) provides the public, policy makers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. The Think Twice think tank review project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information on the NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/

This review is also found on the GLC website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) Think Twice Think Tank Review Project (http://thinktankreview.org) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org