Moderating the Debate is a major statement on education research, policy, and reform that will be required reading for everyone with a stake in improving America's schools.
This eloquent book examines the complex—and often problematic—relations between education research, policy, and practice, and proposes ways to improve those relationships in the interest of meaningful education reform. Based on the Burton and Inglis Lectures, which Michael Feuer delivered at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2004 and 2005, the book begins with an examination of how recent developments in cognitive science have fundamentally changed the way we understand human decisionmaking and rational judgment. It then proceeds to a consideration of how the lessons of cognitive science might inform a more rational—and reasonable—approach to education research, policy, and reform. Moving deftly and with great insight through the worlds of education research and policymaking, Feuer offers practical solutions to the impasses and disconnections that have chronically thwarted workable, sustained education reform.
Michael Feuer knows education scholarship better than almost anyone in the United States. In this new book, he deploys that knowledge to help us understand both the importance and the limitation of science in studying education. His argument is one that should be engaged by all of us who study and teach education. This is a must-read for faculty, students, policymakers, and practitioners alike. — Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Cognitive psychology and behavioral economics have much to teach us about the complexity and limits of human reason. Michael Feuer draws on those teachings—and on his deep experience in applying science to educational problems—to build a timely and persuasive case for a patient and incremental approach to education reform. — Michael McPherson, President, The Spencer Foundation