The Entanglements And Misconceptions Of Education Research


The field of education is often littered with questionable research. If you wish to study more about educational research the, first for all you must know the meaning of Educational Research i.e. completely different from Research in education.

Educational research clearly defines the process of research in the field of education. Now the question arises what is education? Educationists define education as “Manifestation of perfection already in man”.

The field of Education research is problematic for several reasons, not the least of which is that it requires using live human children as experimental subjects. That problem leads us to one of the problems with the Marshmallow Experiment researchers used 16 boys and 16 girls enrolled at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford, giving them a sample that was neither large nor general.

If you are reading the details of a piece of research and discover that it was actually conducted on a dozen volunteers from the sophomore class at Big Exclusive University, you're probably looking at research that is fundamentally useless out in the field.

Teachers have also learned to be dubious of research that is actually advertising. Hardly any program or textbook series comes without stacks of research, paid for or conducted by the company itself, purporting to prove that their product is scientifically demonstrated to build strong young minds twelve ways. Often that research is transparently terrible.

And sometimes the problems aren't so transparent. One of the damaging side-effects of the modern testing era is that standardized test scores are widely used as proxies for student achievement. Folks read, "this policy caused a huge jump in student achievement" and think, "students became better scholars across the board and learned a whole great mountain of skills," when what it actually means is "we got scores on a single standardized multiple-choice math and reading test to go up."

What people who want to shoot science arrows at teachers tend to forget is that every teacher is also a researcher, all day, every day.

Every classroom is a laboratory, and experimental results often come very quickly. Almost any teacher can tell you a story about rewriting a lesson plan in the middle of the lesson after it became obvious that the original plan was not working. A teacher knows immediately if the lesson is engaging if the content is making sense to students or not, if the activity is producing the results intended. Teachers develop a relationship with their students that allows them to make better choices for those individuals; research that claims to indicate what probably works well with most students in most circumstances is often too vague to be useful (and, as in the case of the marshmallows, based on a scope too narrow to justify broad claims.)

This is why teachers sit in "research-based" professional development and scoff silently to themselves, "Buddy, you have not met my students." At the end, when it comes to research, only one thing matters: Does it work when a teacher uses it in her classroom? If the question comes down to, "What are you going to believe the research or your own eyes?" most teachers know which one they're going to choose.

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