Where is the Research?

After a long February and very well deserved March Break for all of us at Cohort 21, I have been thinking about some of the great posts that I’ve been reading. In particular, Jesse Denison, Celeste Kirsh, Derek Doucet, Jen Bibby and Ruth McArthur; they have published some thoughtful reflections, but also reflections that have directed cited research, student feedback and admin’ feedback.

This has me thinking about all the research that we, as a collective have been reading, writing and (hopefully!) archiving in our Diigo group. The work that I’ve been doing on what it means to be a leader in 21st century education and institutions supports the work that we have done. Amidst all the information, trends, fads, and onslaught of edtech ideas, Cohort 21 members have moved forward thoughtfully, deliberately and NOT in isolation.

1) All our work is characterized by research: Take, for example, Celeste’s latest post about flipping the classroom uses an article from a valid and reputable source – and it is the latest in a line of posts that rely on solid research from scholarly articles and other teachers in the field opening giving their own experiences and advice.

2) All our work is characterized by a focus on student success and feedback in many different forms: Jesse’s latest installments (part 1 & 2) sees him reflecting on a student survey exploring their reactions and satisfaction after 3 flipped lessons. Jesse thoughtfully interprets the data (which was all very positive!) and considers how to move forward with that data in the future.  Also, Derek’s work on personalizing the French classroom has involved an anonymous Google Form to gather feedback. He too gives careful consideration to the results and comments of his students.

3) All our work is characterized by an openness to share and collaborate with the ideas and strategies of others: In Jen’s latest post, she looks back at her action plan and, after careful consideration of her research into different schools’ approaches, as well as her own results, and reconsiders her overall approach to her action plan. This post also serves as a great resource for all things “Personalized”! Also Ruth’s exploration into personalizing the Math classroom has drawn some inspiration from  Roger Schank, author of Teaching Minds who shared his view of how he feels that Algebra’s sole purpose is as a method to easily test students, and make benchmarks for university entrance exams.

Even my own exploration into leadership has led me to inquire about educational leadership, and the resources are truly everywhere. What I have enjoyed most of all is the careful consideration that each of the Cohort 21 members have given to the resources that they have selected to share.

So, as we head into the final stretch and our final F2F on April 27th, I hope that anyone reading this post takes a visit to our Cohort 21 blogs and comments and widens the collaborative sphere that we are already creating!



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