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When Can You Trust the Experts?: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education

ISBN: 978-1-118-13027-8
272 pages
July 2012, Jossey-Bass
US $24.95 Add to Cart

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Education, Jossey-Bass


June 21, 2012
San Francisco, CA

When Can You Trust The Experts?

"This is a wise, engagingly written book on an improtant topic.  If you see education as an evidence-based frield, it would be worthwhile for you to read it.  If you see education as an art not amenable to science, it is essential that you read it."  Russ Whitehurst, driector, Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brooklyns Institution

How To Tell Good Science From Bad Education

Those in education—including classroom teachers, school and district leaders, and even parents of school-aged children—face a never ending stream of new education software programs, games, and staff development workshops that are “based on the latest research,” according to marketing claims.  Unfortunately, the science behind many of these programs is minimal at best.  As a consequence, too many educators and parents are shelling out money,and their precious time, on approaches that simply don’t work.

In, best-selling author Daniel Willinghams new book WHEN CAN YOU TRUST THE EXPERTS? (Jossey-Bass, August 2012, ISBN: 978-1-118-13027-8, $24.95 / Cloth / also available as an e-book) addresses this problem by providing a four step solution:

  • Step 1) Strip It - clear away the verbiage and look at the actual claim
  • Step 2) Trace it - who created this iea, and what have other said about it?
  • Step 3) Analyze it - for what reason are you being asked to believe the claim is true?
  • Step 4) Should I do it?

These steps provide an analytic framework for those in education to help enable them to ask the tougher questions, think more logically about why an intervention might now work, and will ultimately allow for more informed decisions.  Additionally, it will allow parents, teachers, adminstrators and policy makers to suss out which new approaches truly have a reliable evidence base behind them, making them wiser consumers of educational programs and products.