Why “Gold Standard” Needs Another “s”: Results from the Gold Standard(s) in Science and Literacy Education Research Conference
- 1.2k Downloads
Silver, gold, diamond, and platinum are symbols of quality. International advertising and marketing stress their rarity, beauty, symbolic, and emotional onsiderations. Infrequently do these promotional efforts mention that rarity can result from natural scarcity or from controlled access to the supply of the materials, and few ever mention the concepts of pragmatics and value as a proportional consideration of quality, cost, and utility. Concerns about quality have been heard in the language and literacy, learning and instruction, measurement and statistics, and science education research communities since the 1980s. Voices of reason have occasionally risen above the din of the simplistic either/or positions in the irrational quantitative—qualitative debates. The opposing sides of purists in this unproductive endeavor appear more interested in impressing one another rather than informing and persuading the opposition about quality research and benefits of comingling methods to better match the problem space and available instrumentation and technology. Furthermore, these rhetorical arguments (i.e., oratorical and discursive techniques designed to persuade) do not appear to recognize (a) the contemporary modern view of science (postpositivist); (b) education as a social science rather than a natural science; (c) the strengths and rigor required of the new learning sciences; and (d) the need for a long-term research agenda that targets a problem space and topic, addresses worthwhile and perplexing questions, and persists in the inquiry using appropriate investigations, which evolve and progress toward sound evidence-based arguments, generalized knowledge claims, and explanations involving causality and mechanism (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004; Phillips, 2006; Yore, 2003).
The debates continued as both purist quantitative and qualitative researchers conducted serial investigations with little visible growth and without apparent utilization of and connection to experiences and results from earlier inquiries. This can be seen in the research literature where, for example, you can find sequences of aptitude— treatment—interaction (ATI) inquiries in which one new attribute after another was arbitrarily substituted for the previous attribute in two-way analyses of variance approaches, and a series of grounded theory investigations of the same topic without using prior findings to frame hypotheses, venture tentative answers, make predictions, or craft an interpretative framework for the next inquiry. These concerns applied equally to both research camps, but neither side appeared to recognize the risks and ultimate outcomes from the government and funding agencies and the ever-decreasing trust in education research by policy makers, decision makers, and other stakeholders—thus, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002) and the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA, 2002) in the United States.
KeywordsEducation Research Problem Space Quality Research Knowledge Claim Epistemological Belief
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- August, D.,&Shanahan, T. (2006a). Introduction and methodology. In D. August&T. Shanahan (Eds.), Developing literacy in second-language learners: Report of the national literacy panel on language-minority children and youth (pp. 1–42). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- August, D.,&Shanahan, T. (Eds.) (2006b). Developing literacy in second-language learners: Report of the national literacy panel on language-minority children and youth. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Duschl, R. A.,&Ellenbogen, K. (1999). Middle school science students' dialogic argumentation. Proceedings of the 2nd international conference of the European Science Education Research Association “Research in science education: Past, present, and future”, Kiel, Germany. Retrieved from http://www.ipn.uni-kiel.de/projekte/esera/book/regf.htm
- Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002. Pub. L. No. 107–279, 116 Stat. 1940. (2002).Google Scholar
- Ford, C. L.,&Yore, L. D. (in press). Toward convergence of metacognition, reflection, and critical thinking: Illustrations from natural and social sciences teacher education and classroom practice. In A. Zohar&J. Dori (Eds.), Metacognition in science education: Trends in current research. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
- Gitomer, D. H.,&Duschl, R. A. (2007). Establishing multilevel coherence in assessment. In P. A. Moss (Ed.), Evidence and decision making (Vol. 106, pp. 288–320). Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Goldman, S. R.,&Wiley, J. (2004). Discourse analysis: Written text. In N. K. Duke&M. H. Mallette (Eds.), Literacy research methodologies (pp. 62–91). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Graesser, A. C., Gernsbacher, M. A.,&Goldman, S. R. (Eds.) (2003). Handbook of discourse processes. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Grimshaw, A. D. (2003). Genre, registers, and contexts of discourse. In A. C. Graesser, M. A. Gernsbacher,&S. R. Goldman (Eds.), Handbook of discourse processes (pp. 25–82). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Halliday, M. A. K.,&Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3rd edn.). London: Arnold.Google Scholar
- Johnson-Laird, P. N. (1988). The computer and the mind: An introduction to cognitive science.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Kelly, A. E.,&Lesh, R. A. (Eds.) (2000). Handbook of research design in mathematics and science education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Lawson, A. E. (2007, March). How “scientific” is science education research? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
- Mosteller, F.,&Boruch, R. (Eds.) (2002). Evidence matters: Randomized trials in education research. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press Munby, H. (2003). Educational research as disciplined inquiry: Examining the facets of rigor in our work [Guest editorial]. Science Education, 87(2), 153–160.Google Scholar
- No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Pub. L. No. 107–110, 115 Stat. 1425. (2002).Google Scholar
- Ragin, C. C., Nagel, J.,&White, P. (2004). Workshop on scientific foundations of qualitative research. Available from http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2004/nsf04219/start.htm
- Toulmin, S. E. (1958). The uses of argument. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- United States Institute of Education Sciences. (n.d.). What Works Clearinghouse overview: Who we are. Retrieved June 13, 2008, from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/overview/ United States National Research Council. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school—Expanded edition. Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning.
- J. D. Bransford, A. L. Brown,&R. R. Cocking (Eds.). Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- United States National Research Council. (2002). Scientific research in education. Committee on Scientific Principles for Education Research. R. J. Shavelson&L. Towne (Eds.). Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- United States National Research Council. (2004). Advancing scientific research in education.Committee on Research in Education. L. Towne, L. L. Wise,&T. M. Winters (Eds.). Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- United States National Research Council. (2005). How students learn: Science in the classroom.Committee on How People Learn, A Targeted Report for Teachers. M. S. Donovan&J. D. Bransford (Eds.). Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- United States National Research Council. (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K-8. Committee on Science Learning, Kindergarten through EighthGoogle Scholar
- Grade. R. A. Duschl, H. A. Schweingruber,&A. W. Shouse (Eds.). Board on Science Education, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Yore, L. D. (2003). Quality science and mathematics education research: Considerations of argument, evidence and generalizability [Guest editorial]. School Science&Mathematics, 103(1), 1–7.Google Scholar
- Yore, L. D. (2008). Science literacy for all students: Language, culture, and knowledge about nature and naturally occurring events. L1—Educational Studies of Language&Literacy, 8(1), 5–21. Retrieved from http://l1.publication-archive.com/show?repository = 1&article = 213