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April 30, 2009

Researcher: Educational reform must change

A University of Chicago researcher says any educational reform, no matter how effective it might seem, must change in order to last.

Jeanne Century, director of science education at the university's Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education, said the problem rests with the reality of complex social processes. But the complexity is paralyzing educational reform efforts.

Even when you identify best practices, they never, ever, are replicated as they move from one place to another place, Century said. They always translate in one way or another. The idea that we can identify a best practice in education and just scale it up is a dramatic oversimplification.

Century presented her research Wednesday in Irvine, Calif., during an address to stakeholders in California's elementary science education system.