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Blogs for the Week Ending 4th January 2014

January 4, 2014
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One comment

  1. At the centre of your piece you say: “Now, the limits of scientific methods to isolate and evaluate what happens in the classroom is a real issue. I’m certainly sceptical about a lot of education research for that reason. However, the claim that we could never, even in theory, objectively evaluate a teaching method is as extreme a denial of science as anything you will hear from homeopaths or creationists (who are also often prone to claim that science cannot hope judge their claims).” I think you’re making a common error here in referring to scientific methods in general when what is at issue is the meaning of knowledge associated with a particular scientific reality. When you’re saying “objectively evaluate” you’re referring to the empirical evidence gained through experimental methodology, supporting either the Null Hypothesis or the Experimental Hypothesis etc. It’s because experimental science does have intentional boundaries set by its ontology, epistemology and methodology that sometimes it not the right tool to use to investigate other realities. It’s not a competition “My ethnography is better than you positivism” it is about appropriateness. Taking the scientific method to mean that only the measurable can be measured ensures that truth verified by other means is marginalised. It’s not all or nothing as you suggest. There’s more to science than simply what meets the eye.
    In my opinion.



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