Monday, October 30, 2006

Not following through on PFT

This article discusses how the most extensive study of instructional programs ever conducted was ignored by the ed establishment. The findings did not sit well with cherished educationist notions.

1 comment:

Dan Johnston said...

Dear Instructivist,

I thought your readers might be interested in the following: Zig Engelmann has come out with a new book: The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed Kids Later. Engelmann has a track record of making significant, measurable improvements in education over the past 40 years.

His latest book will be of interest to anyone who wants to improve the lives of children.

He’s giving away a free chapter every two weeks prior to publication. I've copied the following from his website regarding the schedule.

Dan Johnston


Schedule for Chapters of Zig's Latest Book

The Outrage of Project Follow Through:
5 Million Failed Kids Later

Here's the plan: Every week for the next seven weeks, starting January 22, I will post one chapter of the trade book I have written, The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed kids Later. Each chapter will remain on for two weeks. Once it's off, it's off and will not return. There are seven chapters

Chapter 1: Before Project Follow Through (January 22)
Chapter 2: Project Follow Through Begins (January 29)
Chapter 3: Follow Through Continues (February 5)
Chapter 4: During Follow Through (February 12)
Chapter 5: Follow Through Evaluation (February 19)
Chapter 6: Follow Through Aftermath (February 26)
Chapter 7: The New Millennium (March 5)

You may download chapters, but understand that the material is copyrighted by me and is not to be distributed or published without consent. I still have some hopes of getting it published, but so far I've petitioned 5 literary agents, and none was interested in even reading the book. I'm going to keep trying to find a major publisher that will take the work and publicize it, but in the meantime I figured I'd put out the material for those who are interested. All chapters except the one on evaluation are at least 80 pages.

Prologue to Zig’s Latest Book

The book is not designed for educators but for the general public. The events start in 1964, when I got my first job in education (at the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children at the University of Illinois) and proceed from there to the present through a series of first-person vignettes and episodes that present the human side of what we did and why we did it. I think it delivers a powerful message.

Many episodes are dramatic—at least they were when we experienced them. I believe they show that we knew what we were talking about because we'd done more than theorize or observe through the sterile literature. We were completely involved in working with teachers, kids, and schools for more than 20 years in different manifestations of Follow Through. The book also provides short tours of work we've done with various types of learners, from the autistic, those with traumatic brain damage, and the deaf, to preschoolers, at-risk high school students, and the gifted.

The theme of the book is that urban school districts, as they are currently configured, can't possibly work because their structure, logic, and philosophy are anti-scientific. Overall, the book will probably sadden you, but hopefully, it will provide an interesting journey and won't discourage you.