How standards remove the need for reason and evidence

Filling the pail

Any serious effort to put forward an educational idea should be supported by reason or evidence or both, right? Yes, I know that there are plenty of blog posts and newspaper articles that don’t feel this need but I used the term ‘serious’ deliberately. Should we not expect policymakers, bureaucrats and academics to outline a sound basis for their ideas?

Not always. A standard or regulation can bypass any such need. Just point to the statutory or semi-statutory instrument that enforces your view and you are done. No reasoning or evidence required.

Look at the recent furor I provoked when I questioned popular forms of differentiation. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachersrequireteachers to differentiate! The Disability Standards for Education require teachers to differentiate!

It does not matter that I think this last sentence is false when applied to the kinds of differentiation that I criticised. It does not matter…

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