To make sound education policy, we need sound data – isn’t that what we keep hearing? Then why do we continue to rely on research that hasn’t been verified?
Valerie Strauss notes that “For more than a decade, school reformers have said that education policy should be driven by “research” and “data,” but there’s a big question about how much faith anyone should have in a great deal of education research. “
The Washington Post article continues: “This is so not only because the samples are too small or because some research projects are funded by specific companies looking for specific results, but because in nearly all cases, it appears that nobody can be certain their results are completely accurate.” (my emphasis)
If we are to use research findings to making policy (which seems entirely sensible), then any research surely should first be replicated and deemed reliable and trustworthy before being accepted as correct? Otherwise we are opening ourselves to using research that could be skewed for all manner of reasons.
Students (and teachers) deserve better than to be used as guinea pigs.
~ Dianne Khan
Sources and further reading:
A shocking statistic about the quality of education research – The Washington Post
Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences – Matthew C. Makel1 and Jonathan A. Plucker