A guide for the perplexed
scientific educational research, methodolatry, and the gold versus platinum standards
The discussion opens by characterizing recent discourse about empirical educational research as the "new Babel" – critics, using different theoretical vocabularies and making different deep assumptions about the nature of social life, are failing to communicate with each other. After locating some of the critical positions on a left-right continuum, the main discussion focuses upon the end of this continuum where there are located the recent attempts to restore rigor in educational research by using the so-called "gold standard" of randomized field trials. It is argued that positions at this end of the continuum misrepresent the nature of science, and some examples are mentioned briefly to convey the point that it is fruitful to view scientists as making convincing cases, cases that appeal to a wide variety of evidence. The assessment of scientific cases is called the "platinum standard".
Phillips, D. C. (2014)., A guide for the perplexed: scientific educational research, methodolatry, and the gold versus platinum standards, in A. D. reid, E. Paul hart & M. A. Peters (eds.), A companion to research in education, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 129-139.
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