Underlying all of the controversy and dissatisfaction with American education, there is an emerging consensus within brain-based research, developmental research, and educational practices research. From the United States governmental panel compendium How People Learn to the multiple efforts to consolidate current research under Best Practices publications, there are consistent themes which define effective applications of what we know about how children develop and how to optimize their learning. Too often these efforts to draw a holistic framework for education are marked by claims of ‘we discovered it first’ or ‘ our recommendations are the newest and best.’ Because of these territorial claims and appeals for individual recognition, the bigger picture of an emerging consensus calling for a paradigm shift in educational practice is overlooked. The public and many educators perceive these claims to fame or breakthrough ideas as a fragmented and conflicting field of options instead of a new direction for learning and education. Consequently, sound research-based ideas are packaged, sold and retrofitted as a band aid to a dysfunctional factory based model of education.
Until constructivist, holistic, and research-based educators stand together to reform and redirect education in America, the political and historical resistances in our system will continue the stagnation in our system.
In this section, we wish to highlight the parallels, similarities, and strengths of well-defined principles and practices across the educational spectrum.