Exclusive: Education research's 'terrifying existential crisis'

tes | March 29, 2019

A government-backed research body is reviewing the “validity and security” of all the individual studies that contribute to its highly influential summaries of evidence for teachers.The decision by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) comes amid concerns that education research is facing an “existential crisis” that has “terrifying” implications.The field of psychology has already been shaken by the replication crisis, which arose when researchers found they could not replicate the findings of key pieces of research that had influence policy and spending decisions. Larry Hedges, who last year won the $4 million Yidan Prize for educational research, told Tes: “It’s pretty clear that at some point this replication crisis is going to be observed in education if we don’t head it off.”He added: “It is terrifying, and it should terrify us. When I talk about this very issue to education researchers, what I have said is that this is an existential crisis for us.”Jeremy Hodgen, professor of mathematics education at the UCL Institute of Education, told Tes he “agrees there is a replication crisis”. He went further, warning that many education research papers do not publish enough detail about their research to allow others to attempt to replicate their findings.

Spotlight

This U.S. Department of Education white paper lays out a case for expanding the role of teachers and unions working with administrators and school boards as true partners in improving public education. In this model, all stakeholders ultimately choose to sit on the same side of the education reform table, working toward the same goal of improving outcomes for students, rather than meeting across the table as adversaries working from opposing positions.

Spotlight

This U.S. Department of Education white paper lays out a case for expanding the role of teachers and unions working with administrators and school boards as true partners in improving public education. In this model, all stakeholders ultimately choose to sit on the same side of the education reform table, working toward the same goal of improving outcomes for students, rather than meeting across the table as adversaries working from opposing positions.

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