How research paywalls keep today’s research from becoming best practice

Dominant logic often isolates higher learning research
from the teachers who need to apply it.

There are pay walls that keep average everyday teachers like me from nosing around in matters reserved for ivory towers.

It sort of ticks me off sometimes. Why can't ivory tower people “adopt” classroom practitioners (like me and many others) who really “get into” reading research and applying it in our classroom so we can actually access the material we need to read?

You would think that people would want “real” teachers to read the research on learning and teaching. Instead we often get insulted for not knowing it or using it when we don't have access in the first place.

No entry allowed

Today I was perusing around research around what makes learning meaningful to students and came across this article “Phases of Meaningful Learning” but have to be a “member” or pay a one time $25 to access the article. Well it may just be $25 but considering this happens at least 5 or 6 times a week… it isn't doable.

We need to support our research organizations and researchers, no doubt about it. But there should be some creative ways to give access to or even have some “qualified” teachers apply to be allowed to access research. (A “qualified” teacher should be any teacher who wants to read it, in my opinion.)

Should public research be publicly readable?

Of course there's the question that +Stephen Downes and others always ask… that if the research was paid for by public funds that perhaps the public should have access.

Try explaining that one. Here we are trying to do everything we can to improve education when the very research principals and teachers need to make that change is hiding behind paywalls that will likely not be in the budget for most K12 schools. More than that, the US taxpayer is paying for it and then it can't be viewed by the schools it is meant to help.

Come on. Wake up someone. It is a new day where we can all be scholars if we can just have access.

Paywalls prevent putting research into practice. Period.

We're blocking innovation. We're promoting isolation. We're continuing to promote the “dominant logic” of an education system that is in a stellar need of reform and reorganization.

How dominant logic creates a domineering, unhealthy educational culture

The term “dominant logic” is used in the book Reverse Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.

Govindarajan and Trimble talk about that a dominant logic emerges in companies and organizations when “you achieved your success in a particular kind of market and culture.”

The dominant logic of an organization prevents organization in new and emerging markets and they recommend the creation of “local growth teams” (LGTs) to start from scratch (but remain connected to the parent organization to use resources.)

Education as a whole is in dire need of innovation in how we think, how we share information, and how we research. New, creative partnerships and teamwork between higher ed, high schools and just about any type of school need to emerge in ways no longer constrained by geography.

Teachers can be scholars and scholars can be teachers. We can work together daily and interact in creative ways. Knock down the towers, flatten the walls, and connect. Or just start by waking up and realizing that the world has changed just a tad in the last 20 years and it is time for education to as well.

I think the dominant logic in education is flawed. What got us to where we are today will not get us to a better place tomorrow.

Photo Credits: iStock Photo
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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