After 25 years in public education, I have come to the realization that all too often, even in light of the research, as well as a professional desire to move students away from Rote memorization and the basics of behaviorism, and into the interpretive and the analytical, the behaviorist model becomes the standard by which students are taught and evaluated. I say this reluctantly because I would like to believe that I have mastered the art of higher level engagement, but the behavior / reward model is easy to fall back on.
Rubrics are absolutely a tremendous evaluation tool that is used to present the task and to guide its development. The problem faced in the secondary level though is that the interpretation of rubrics introduces the subjective and in the competition for grades and the higher GPA, there are those, often with parental support that choose to challenge rather than accept the expertise of the evaluator if the score is less than their perceived acceptable level. Debates rising from this subjectivity often end up with the administrator who may or may not be versed in that particular subject matter and given the pressure they are subjected to, will sometimes cave under parental pressure. The behaviorist model tends to be objective even though it is not the optimum learning method. Objectivity erases the debate and students and parents alike tend to accept the result whether it is good or bad.
Teachers at the secondary level that have established themselves and their methods over time generally have far fewer challenges to subjective evaluation methods and therefore are much more able to drive the learning from a cognitivist or a constructionist theory. This is fortunate for those students involved and over time, the establishment of expertise and fair evaluation allow those veteran educators the autonomy to take their classes away from just rote memorization of facts and definitions, and into the interpretive and the analytical.
The other reason that the behaviorist model still so prevalent is due to the fact that there is so little time to do a really good job with lesson preparation and evaluation due to the number of students typically seen in a day and the idea within most school districts that student contact time is more costs efficient.
Harasim, L. (2012). Learning Theory and Online Technologies. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781136937750/
Learning Theories. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://thepeakperformancecenter.com/educational-learning/learning/theories/
Wicks, D. J. (n.d.). Emerging Theories and Online Learning Environments for Adults. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from https://sites.google.com/a/boisestate.edu/edtechtheories/emerging-theories-and-online-learning-environments-for-adults-1