Monday, January 31, 2011

Now it's History

Another study to be careful with...

Apparently, participation in National History Day is connected to better performance in all areas of a student's academic life. Ahhh, another magic bullet.

The coverage is careful not to claim that NHD causes students to do better. And nothing in the explanation gives the details necessary to make or reject such a claim.

It seems just as plausible to me that if NHD is optional, the students who participate are more likely to perform better in other academic areas because they're more serious students.

Even if it's not optional, and, say, a whole school districts were compared, it's just as easy to argue that school districts who have the resources--personnel, commitment, etc.--to undertake NHD are different from those that don't, and the kids in the former might have a wider variety of opportunities (beyond NHD) than the students in the former.

I like history, I wish we had more NHD-type activities. But I don't know that this is 'the answer.'

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