Equity, excellence, elephants, and evidence


John D. Bransford


Deborah Stipek


Nancy J. Vye


Louis M. Gomez


Diana Lam

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In J Bransford, D. Stipek, N. Vye, L. Gomez & D. Lam (Eds.)
The role of research in educational improvement
Cambridge MA: Harvard Education Press

Three key themes reverberate throughout this volume. An equity and excellence theme emphasizes that the creation of high-quality learning opportunities is a core value shared by all the authors of this volume. An elephants theme (as in the poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant” by John Godfrey Saxe) reminds us that our educational system includes a multiplicity of subsystems that may or may not amount to a fully functioning and healthy elephant and needs to be understood holistically in order to make true progress. An evidence theme highlights our assumption that everyone wants to do what is best for students; that evidence of what works, and why, is necessary to be as effective as possible; and that the idea of using “evidence based practices” is more complex than it might appear at first glance and needs to be understood and explored from multiple points of view.

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APA Citation

Bransford, J. Stipek, D., Vye, N., Gomez, L., & Lam, D. (2009). Equity, excellence, elephants, and evidence. In J Bransford, D. Stipek, N. Vye, L. Gomez & D. Lam (Eds.), The role of research in educational improvement. Cambridge MA: Harvard Education Press.