When I come into contact with practising teachers and teaching assistants on the Sounds-Write literacy training courses, I am constantly coming up against people who think that their personal opinion, based on nothing but their practice and beliefs, has the same validity as research in the field of teaching reading and spelling.
According to Caroline Cox*, there are four principal grounds on which teachers justify their practices. They are: 'tradition (how it has always been done); prejudice (how I like it done); dogma (this is the 'right' way to do it and ideology (as required by the current orthodoxy).'
Unless and until the teacher training institutions educate student teachers in the importance of evidence-based practice, many teachers will continue to base many of our educational practices on mere whimsy.
*Quoted by David Hargreaves in his well known 1996 TTA lecture 'Teaching as a research-based profession: possibilities and prospects'.