ERIC Number: EJ709886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-1
Reference Count: N/A
A Special Section on Reading Research--Murder Your Darlings: A Scientific Response to the Voice of Evidence in Reading Research
Garan, Elaine M.
Phi Delta Kappan, v86 n6 p438 Feb 2005
Writers know how easy it is to be seduced by their own cleverness. Words and ideas have a way of turning heads as they take on lives of their own. However, the time comes when good writers must harden their hearts, sharpen the axe, and murder their darlings. The same must be said of good scientists. Even more so than with writing, ethical scientists must approach their work with humility and discipline and resist the temptation to indulge their own pet notions at the expense of the truth and in defiance of the evidence. Ultimately, scientists must accept the evidence and, when the time comes, they must be the first to pick up the axe and murder their own darlings. It is this fundamental precept that defenders of the Report of the National Reading Panel (NRP) have not faced. As a result, instead of an evidence-based guide that can inform practice in reading instruction, some are faced with a biased report characterized by misreported, overgeneralized findings that do not inform but rather mandate education policy--ironically--in the name of science. Since the NRP cannot find it in its heart to murder its own darlings, the author has decided she will invoke her own right as a consumer and victim of that research and do it for them. In this article the author maintains that Timothy Shanahan has misrepresented not only the author's own arguments but the findings of the National Reading Panel.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Scientists, Reading Instruction, Reading Research, Educational Research, Educational Policy, Teaching Methods, Ethics
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001