> Why does it seem that the attitude of any working mathematician OR > school administrator is that cognitive research is a waste of time? > Is it only because they think, in both cases, that actual research > migh threaten their unquestioned authority on educational matters? > OTOH, it seems that many teachers want to learn this kind of > information but do not know where to look, nor do they usually have > the time. Perhaps if schools of education and certification programs > placed a little more emphasis on learning issues instead of History of > Education in America we might get better students in return.
As a mathematician and teacher, I don't find cognitive research to be a waste of time. However, I would have to say that at least 95% of the time one spends *reading about* cognitive research *is* a waste of time. There is a great deal of chaff and very little grain. See below.
> Every book on education will espouse an opinion since there is no > theory of the learning process (or the educational process, for that > matter) that we can all agree on. All books and research papers are > "opinions"--they do not become "facts" until enough people are > persuaded by the claims' validity.
The opinions are part of the chaff. But even worse is the notion that opinions `become "facts"' when enough people are persuaded of their validity. We do not establish fact through persuasion, but through demonstrated repeatability of cause and effect.