Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
My column on the lack of rigor in education research is up at TechCentralStation.
DEAR JOANNE JACOBS —
GOOD PIECE IN SUNDAY-26-SEPTEMBER-2004 CHRONICLE, PAGE E6 !!
RE THE CBS-MEMO SCANDAL: WHAT MADE ME A BELIEVER WAS HEAR-ING THAT TYPE-ING THE CBS-MEMO IN MICROSOFT WORD PRODUCED AN EXACT COPY …
BUT DID ANY OTHER BLOGGERs POINT OUT THAT THE NEXT-TO-THE-LAST PARAGRAPH IN YR PIECE CONTAINs AN ERROR ?? ACTUAL-LY, IT DOES COST SOMETHING TO “BECOME A PUBLISHER, EDITOR, AND STAR REPORTER” — U NEED TO PURCHASE A COMPUTER …..
REGARDs, “PERFESSER” MARK CREEK-WATER
Now we know your secret. You only smile when you are getting paid. Keep smiling.
My current employer, Western Governors University, wants to look at how effective they are at instructing and assessing graduates. To prepare for this, I’ve been looking at studies that other universities have done on their graduates and it surprises me at how they define effective. It doesn’t matter what the student thinks. What matters is how they perform in the real world. Too many places just ask their students what they thought of it.
Here is someone who echoes some of the concerns raised in the piece:
My favorite quote from the paper:
“Many people assume that if they see printed material in a book or journal that looks like this, they are examining research (Stephen-Bailie, 1992). What they do not realize is that professional opinion can be referenced in the same manner (Ruggles, 1993).”
“A small group of prolific professionals with strong beliefs, can write a great deal and quote each other’s ideas (Stephen-Bailie, 1994; Grossen, 1993). They can create a circular research base that may appear to research (Stephen-Bailie, 1995), but may, in fact, just be bullshit (Ruggles, 1963).”
I do feel compelled to point out (what i feel is) a misconception:
It’s not true that qualitative research is ethnographic and doesn’t “provide any data that makes it possible to figure out whether one approach works better than another”; qualitative analysis can be used in experimental or evaluative research, just as quantitative analysis can be used in descriptive research.
I think most psychological or medical researchers would tell you there’s a place for both qualitative and quantitative analysis in research, though reliance on one exclusive approach would lead to fewer gains in understanding.
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