La innovación educativa busca datos para avalarse
alespierno's bookmarks 2018-08-06
Educational innovation seeks data to support itself
In science, medicine or on the Internet, almost everything is measured and then decided. It is the application of the hypothetical-deductive method invented by Galileo and still in force five centuries later. The data supports everything from why more money is going to hospitals to how driving tests are organised or why there is a particular product in the supermarket. In education, no, and schools seem to escape the exams that overwhelm their students. "We continue to work with intuition, tradition and beliefs," says Ismael Palacín of the Jaume Bofill Foundation. So far, they're waiting.
A pedagogical movement called `What works' (WhatWorks) calls for the evidence in the classroom to be taken into account when making educational decisions and for education not to be governed by inherited fashions or beliefs. "On education, unlike health, we spend a lot of money on teachers and very little on research. And since, moreover, any intervention, of whatever kind, has some positive effect, because science is left behind. And there is a lack of data to show what really works," adds Palacín.
The Fundació Jaume Bofill, one of the driving forces behind the movement in Catalonia with Educaixa, from the Fundació Bancaria Caixa, made the subject visible at a conference last May in collaboration with the Institut Català d'Avaluació de Polítiques Públiques (Ivalua) in which issues such as the influence of scholarships on school success, the payment of salary incentives to teachers according to results, scholarships, the expulsion of students as punishment or the influence of the type of exam on learning were reviewed.
Educaixa, which organised another meeting with the two gurus on the subject, Robert Slavin and Nancy Madden, a couple of researchers from John Hopkins University who have created protocols to collect this evidence that can be universally evaluated and recognised. They have also just signed an agreement to translate into Spanish and Catalan the great compendium of educational resources evaluated, that of the Education Endowment Foundation, with which the American researchers collaborate and in which they intend to involve Catalan and Spanish schools to participate in the pilots and share their experiences.
"We would like to call on schools to submit educational innovation projects that can be evaluated and replicated by other schools. That their contributions do not remain within the four walls of the centre", says Arantxa Ribot, project manager at Educaixa.
The Slavin and Madden method applies control groups, randomized samples and other social and psychological research techniques to teaching. It calls for at least 12 weeks of analysis of the results for 60 students and for work to be carried out to accepted standards. The data collected must also be structured, anonymized and suitable for computer processing.
The Conselleria d'Ensenyament or the Diputació de Barcelona, in this sense, has begun to offer some data within the general transparency policy of governments (Open Data or Open Data), but it remains in statistical quantifications of numbers, schools and students.
The lack of cross-data also affects public administrations. Thus, for example, there is no empirical evidence as to how the award of a scholarship has influenced the economic performance of students or whether school activities in the summer help to raise grades. "Decisions must be based on verifiable facts, have a solid basis. There has been too much ideological thinking and divine inspiration. We are promoting working groups on centres of interest that pose common challenges and a structure that can be translated into open data," says Rafa Humet, head of Education at the Diputació de Barcelona.