Reforms, Research and Variability:A Reply to Lois Weiner


  • Lauren B. Resnick University of Pittsburgh



School Demography, Educational Change, School Districts


Lois Weiner (2003) argues that the research reports from High Performance Learning Communities (HPLC) were biased because of the close working relationships between the researchers and the leaders of the Community School District Two (CSD2) reform. Contrary to any claims otherwise, this relationship was quite open and acknowledged. The intent of the HPLC investigation was always to link scholars and practitioners in a new form of research and development in which scholars became problem-solving partners with practitioners. There are important issues about how to profitably conduct such “problem-solving” research. These issues are worth substantial attention from the communities of researchers and practitioners as collaborative research/practice partnerships proliferate. Serious studies of such partnerships are needed, going well beyond the anecdotal attacks offered by Weiner in her article.


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Author Biography

Lauren B. Resnick, University of Pittsburgh

Lauren B. Resnick is an internationally known scholar in the cognitive science of learning and instruction. Her recent research has focused on school reform, assessment, effort-based education, the nature and development of thinking abilities, and the relation between school learning and everyday competence. Her current work lies at the intersection of cognitive science and policy for education. Dr. Resnick founded and directs the Institute for Learning, which focuses on professional development based on cognitive learning principles and effort-oriented education. She is co-founder and co-director of the New Standards Project, which has developed standards and assessments that have widely influenced state and school district practice. Resnick was a member of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce and served as chair of the assessment committee of the SCANS Commission and of the Resource Group on Student Achievement of the National Education Goals Panel. She has served on the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and on the Mathematical Sciences Education Board at the National Research Council. Her National Academy of Sciences monograph, Education and Learning to Think, has been influential in school reform efforts, and her widely circulated Presidential Address to the American Educational Research Association, "Learning In School and Out," has shaped thinking about youth apprenticeship and school-to-work transition. Dr. Resnick is Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where she directs the Learning Research and Development Center. Educated at Radcliffe and Harvard, she received the 1998 E. L. Thorndike Award from the American Psychological Association and the 1999 Oeuvre Award from the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction.




How to Cite

Resnick, L. B. (2003). Reforms, Research and Variability:A Reply to Lois Weiner. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11, 28.