What Works May Hurt

By: Yong Zhao

Medical products are required to disclose both their intended outcomes and known side effects. But educational policy and practice carries no such labels. Thus, teachers, school leaders and the public are not told, for example, that “This program helps improve your students' reading scores, but it may make them hate reading forever”, or that “School choice may improve test scores of some students, but it may lead to the collapse of public education.”

In his new book, Yong Zhao, distinguished professor and specialist in education policy, shines a light on the long-ignored phenomenon of side effects of education policies and practices, bringing a fresh and perhaps surprising perspective to evidence-based practices and policies. Identifying the adverse effects of some of the “best” educational interventions with examples from classrooms to boardrooms, the author investigates causes and offers clear recommendations. This volume will help the field of education to advance beyond the extreme pendulum swings that characterise today's school reform efforts.

Book Features:

Provides evidence to show how popularly endorsed education strategies, policies and systems can actually do harm to students.
Encourages educators to consider some less-publicised or lower-effect strategies that may be just what the doctor ordered for some students and classrooms.

Cautions educators, policymakers and parents to be more thoughtful when considering educational programs and weighing evidence.
Calls for researchers to include possible downsides to strategies that they are testing and promoting in order to assist school leaders and practitioners in choosing and implementing educational interventions.

174 pages | Aug 2018
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