Teacher Use of Academic Research

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

What follows is the Foreword that I wrote for a book about why many teachers are allergic to academic research yet seek it out and, in some cases, almost religiously, apply research findings in their classroom lessons. It is a puzzle. Jack Schneider, a historian of education, tries to unlock that puzzle in his book, From theIvory Tower to the Schoolhouse (2014).

Over half of U.S. public school teachers have master’s degrees. Many courses that these teachers took to earn their degrees in disciplines or in education included reading and analyzing research studies. And many of these teachers wrote a master’s thesis or research papers to complete the requirements for the degree. For those teachers without an advanced degree, most have been exposed to recent research in their discipline or educational specialty through professional development workshops, media articles, or may have even participated in classroom research projects. And many…

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