Taking On Steiner

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Though there's been lots of bashing done by mouth, Teachers Record has just published the first written critique of a controversial study done last year by David Steiner, in which he concluded that nation's top-tier education schools are "intellectually barren" and ideologically skewed to the left. Dan Butin, on the school of ed faculty at Gettysburg College, attempts a replication of Steiner's methodology, collecting coursework syllabi and analyzing the rigor and balance of the required readings for a course. However Butin clearly ignores some of Steiner's own rules, such as only looking at required courses for certification, not electives. Butin dances around the periphery of Steiner's main point with a long discussion about schools' excessive use of textbooks over primary sources, but concedes that one of Steiner's most important conclusions, that schools of ed do not present an ideological balance, is "a legitimate complaint."

Interesting read. The two scholars will be debating each other at 9:30 a.m. on September 10th at the Progressive Policy Institute, here in DC.