I’ve written a number of posts over the years skeptical of the central role research from many economists have played in “school reform” efforts. I certainly don’t dismiss their work. I just view it in the context of being data-informed and not being data-driven. In other words, the numbers and the models used in many studies don’t tell the whole story.
Here are my choices for The Best Posts & Articles About The Role Of Economists In Education:
I’ll start off with Rick Hess’ new piece, The Trouble With Economists.
Quote Of The Day: “Should We Trust Economists?”
Economists: Return Your Salaries for Producing Flawed Studies is by Barnett Berry.
“Muddled Models” — A View Of Economists From…The Economist Magazine
The pitfalls of putting economists in charge of education is by Diane Ravitch.
“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail” — Economists Go After Schools Again
Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools? Don’t They Have Enough Other Things To Do?
Part Two Of “Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools?” — My Worst Fears Realized
The Best Posts On “Loss Aversion” & Schools
The Best Posts On The NY Times-Featured Teacher Effectiveness Study
“Must-Read” NY Times Article On Recent Teacher-Effectiveness Study
Stephen Colbert Explains Why It’s Important To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven”
Laura H. Chapman: When Economic Language Corrupts Educational Practice is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.
Great News! Only 2 Of Top 308 New Economists Want To Study Schools
Quote Of The Day: “Economists are terrible at predictions”
Guest Post: Economists & Education
Peter Greene: What Do Economists Know About Teachers? is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.
Second Quote Of The Day: Economists Often Forget That “Context Matters”
Additional suggestions are welcome.
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I have started in on reading these several articles. Thanks for posting them.
The way I see it, (capitalist) economists see flesh-and-blood human beings as human “capital” and human “resources.”
That’s not how (most) teachers view their students.
I’m reminded of something I read several years ago. I’m not sure how valid or accurate it is: “Elementary teachers love their students; high school teachers love their subjects; university professors love themselves.”
The problem with economists’ analyses of student achievement is that humans have “agency,” as compared to, for example, a biologically-active (macro-) molecule. A molecule is not necessarily going to interrupt a teacher in mid-sentence.
I think the university professor comment is more rather than less unwarranted. I think they love their subjects (seems one have to be in love with ones subject to get a Ph.D. in it, eh?), though, perhaps it is rather rare that a given professor – as compared with a K-12 teacher – takes a sincere, focused interest in student flourishing, considering that professors sometimes ply their pedagogical trade in rather large lecture halls.
Is there anything an economist – by virtue of BEING an economist – is not qualified to hold forth on? (Ditto a Romneyesque MBA/JD)