I’ve always been puzzled, and frustrated, at the fact that most scientists either ignore or outright dismiss the latest in science education research.
I just came on a great post on Sci-Ed about the divide from last month. It starts:
Science education researchers and science teachers have much to offer each other. In an ideal world, knowledge would flow freely between researchers and educators. Unfortunately, research and practice tend to exist in parallel universes. As long as this divide persists, classrooms will rarely benefit from research findings, and research studies will rarely be rooted in the realities of the classroom. If we care about science education, we have to face the research-practice divide.
It’s worth a read. The irony is that scientists, more than anybody else you would think, should be the ones to use evidence-based methods in their practices. Why would you do something if you don’t know it to be effective? Research shows that professors often think that a number of methods they use are effective when, upon investigation, they clearly aren’t. (This is often true about lecturing in general.)
If you found out that your experimental methods were inaccurate or giving false results, you’d change your methods lickety split.
But if a scientist is told by a professional science education researcher that what they’re doing doesn’t work, what happens? All too often, nothing does.
I really have no idea how to open this up; there are inherited prejudices. The science education literature is rife with jargon and acronyms, and most scientists who give a look don’t see the methods as particularly robust. Communication is a start, but I don’t know what’s to be said.