kitchen table math, the sequel: Linda Seebach on Zig

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Linda Seebach on Zig

pull:

When the results were analyzed, Direct Instruction had won the horse race going away. It was first in basic skills, but it was also the only model that had positive results on all three higher-order cognitive skills, and it was also first in affective measures, how children feel about themselves.

research shows....

Follow Through was a response to the fact that early evaluations of Head Start suggested its effects disappeared within a year or two. The original idea was to extend how long Head Start children could receive services - hence the name - but, in the event, there wasn't enough money to do that so the project was changed into a research study.

"Follow Through would identify proponents of different approaches and would set the stage for something like a horse race, in which there would be a winner or winners, some also-rans, and some losers. The study would involve over 200,000 students, 22 sponsors of different approaches, and 178 communities, which spanned the full range of demographic setting variables (rural, urban) and ethnic composition (white, not-white; poor, not-poor; English, non-English).

Parents' groups chose among the models, and DI turned out to be far more popular with parents than it was among professional educators. Zig's team was responsible for 39 schools in 19 communities. The models started in 1968 with a cohort of kindergartners, if the schools had a kindergarten, and added a grade each year up to grade 3. After full implementation, 40,000 children were tested.

When the results were analyzed, Direct Instruction had won the horse race going away. It was first in basic skills, but it was also the only model that had positive results on all three higher-order cognitive skills, and it was also first in affective measures, how children feel about themselves. It was first with high performers and with low performers, with different ethnic groups and with non-English speakers. After DI training, teachers were able to get even very low-performing children reading by the end of kindergarten.

Education elite strangle a superior program

4 comments:

Instructivist said...

I love Linda Seebach'a opening lines:

"I've been reading one of the most important education books you'll likely never have a chance to read."

That statement speaks volumes about the regnant ideology shaping education. Still, I'd like to know how it is possible not to be able to find even one publisher for the book. It sounds like the trouble Orwell had publising Animal Farm.

Could the dislike of DI also be permeating all publishers? They can't all be fans of constructivism.

Apropos constructivism, I am struck by this comment in another thread:

"On the other hand, creationism is a strictly religious belief. Creationists believe in a literal six-day creation and a young earth."

For me, it highlights a major difference between constructivism and creationism.

Whereas it supposedly takes an unspecified number of YEARS for fuzzy math to show miraculous results, G-d was able to accomplish a most astonishing feat in only a few DAYS.

Linda Seebach said...

Thanks for the kind words.

It's hard to find a publisher if you don't have an agent, and it's hard to get an agent if you're saying something that goes against the establishment's prejudices. Nobody thinks it will sell.

I suggested to Zig (via e-mail) that he should just publish it himself with a print-on-demand house. (My son's spouse did that with a novel that had been languishing for a couple of years, and they've been very pleased with the results.)

Given all the blogs that have linked to the book since he put it up, I'd expect he could do well with word-of-blog marketing!

Catherine Johnson said...

Still, I'd like to know how it is possible not to be able to find even one publisher for the book.

I'm going to see if my agent will handle the book (I've never communicated with Zig, so I probably should ask him if that's OK!)

Ben Calvin said...

Yhat's a great idea, Catherine. I had no clue this was unpublished!