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Topic: 'Education(al) Research' Vs. 'Scientific Research'
Replies: 2   Last Post: Oct 18, 2012 9:56 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 7,740
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
'Education(al) Research' Vs. 'Scientific Research'
Posted: Oct 15, 2012 3:15 AM
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Because of the horrendous foncusions that at least one of us is laboring under (see, for instance:http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7906166), I believed it would be useful to clarify what the two terms in the title of this topic might mean:

A: 'Educational Research' refers, according to a Wikipedia article,
QUOTE
>to a variety of methods,[1][2][3] in which individuals evaluate different aspects of education including but not limited to: ?student learning, teaching methods, teacher training, and classroom dynamics?.[4]

>Educational researchers have come to the consensus that, educational research must be conducted in a rigorous and systematic way,[2][4] although what this implies is often debated.[1][5]
UNQUOTE
It's quite a lengthy article, so I just provide the link to it, and follow that up with various other links to 'education(al) research' at other sources:
i) Wikipedia main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_research

ii) ERIC - World's largest digital library of education literature - http://www.eric.ed.gov/

[I have about 20 other links available, but my computer and Internet connection are both terribly slow, so shall leave them out now. In any case, No.ii) above, the link to ERIC, is said to take you to the "World's largest digital library of education literature" - this enable the interested reader to seek out whatever he/she/they may need. If you need more, a simple Google-search will get you well over 2 MMMMMMMMMillion links, only a few of which I have even attempted to look at].

B: Scientific Research

Scientific research refers to the "application of scientific method to the investigation of relationships among natural phenomena, or to solve a medical or technical problem" (Business Dictionary - http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/scientific-research.html) - here below is a link to a quite sizable Wikipedia article about the 'scientific method', which I follow up by a few more links, most of which I have read through (NOT studied) with some care.

i) Wikipedia on 'scientific method' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method (this has quite a sizable reference list at end)

ii) I have several other links, which I am not providing because of the slow speed of my Internet connection. However, I thought that - view the topic being discussed and the pseudo=claims that some of us pretend to have in terms of expert knowledge of the distinctions between 'Education Research' and 'Scientific Research' - I thought it would be interesting to provide the following (even if I have to struggle a bit to accomplish it) - this is a link to the publisher's page of a book entitled: "Scientific Research - Education" - here's a link to the publisher's page on it - National Academies Press (NAP) - http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10236. The book is one of those that the NAP kindly makes available for free download, and this is the download page: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10236#toc.

To preempt a few possible questions:

- -- Yes, I do intend to download in due course. (No, I have not downloaded it yet).

- -- No, I would not be willing to attach the download to an e-mail message (as the NAP has made it available in several independent download sections - and it's going to be a LOT of work for me to download it for myself; sorry about that).

Anyway, it does seem that Robert Hansen is woefully wrong again when he claims that 'Education Research' and 'Scientific Research' are two entirely different 'species' of things. In fact, 'Education Research' merely applies the 'Scientific Method' to research on education.

Only the extremely naive would expect that 'Education Research' would look in all respects like a piece of scientific research on, say, Physics; Maths; Chemistry; Biology; etc, etc. It is bound to be very different indeed, as it deals with how the 'educator' should enable the ingress of new knowledge into the human mind (the deeper properties of which we are nowadays only just beginning to understand).

[I observe that the available knowledge about the human mind is rather superficial (even amongst the best informed researchers: we know a fair bit about the 'human brain'; very little indeed of how the 'human mind' arises from that).

[Should some of our participants be interested interested to explore the "ingress of new knowledge into the 'human mind'" (the latter is a putative something - rather, a postulated something - 'associated' with the 'human brain' in some complex fashion), I'd strongly recommend the 'One Page Management System' (OPMS), about which I post from time to time. There are a number of informative attachments about the OPMS with my message heading the thread "'Curriculum' is NOT the same as 'system' - some differences" - see http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2408198 ].

I do trust that at least a few foncusions might have been removed by this piece of 'scientific research (educational)' of mine?

GSC
("Still Shoveling Away!" - with apologies if due to Barry Garelick for any tedium caused; and with the humble suggestion that the EASY way to avoid such tedium
is simply to refrain from opening any message purported to originate from GSC)



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