In education in particular, there is a tendency to make decisions based on intuition.
These perceptions or informal observations are certainly valuable, and as educators. I think we have all followed our gut instincts – and often been glad that we did. But, when we are making big decisions – decisions that will impact the campus or district as a whole, choices that cost real money and impact real kids – these decisions need to be supported by real data.
The authors recommend four steps:
- Defining the problem,
- Collecting and analyzing data,
- Studying literature, and
- Taking action based on research — not just a gut feeling (Martin & Tallman, 2001).
We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our resources and to know that the decisions we make are really what’s best for our students.
Martin, J. & Tallman, J. (2001). The teacher-librarian as action researcher. Teacher-Librarian. 29(2), 8-10.
Photo by Kokeshi on Flickr Creative Commons